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The Willers Family 




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Cornell University Library 
E415.6 .S52 

Public record: 


3 1924 032 762 290 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 







The Campaign of 1856 to the Present Time. 






PUBLISHED BY I. "W. E N G- L -A. N T> , 

At the Office of The JT. T. Sun. 

Entered according- to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by 


In the Olerk'a Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District oi 

New Tork. 

The New 'fdRic Print^n** Company, 
Si, £35 arut> 8^ Centre Street, 
New York. 


In presenting this compilation of the public expressions of Gover- 
nor Seymour during the past twelve years, the editors desire to say 
that it has been made as complete and accurate as circumstances 
would permit. No effort nor expense has been spared in this direc- 
tion ; yet, as the value of the work to those for whom it was prepared, 
editors and public speakers, required that it should be issued as early 
as possible, it is quite probable that omissions may have occurred. 
Still, nothing essential to a full and fair understanding of Governor 
Seymour's views on the various questions which have occupied the 
public mind during the period covered by this publication is wanting. 
So far as could be, the matter has been arranged chronologically. 
Where omissions have occurred in the chronological arrangement, the 
omitted matter, so far as discovered, has been supplied in an Appen- 
' dix, to which attention is directed. Every speech, letter, proclama- 
tion, or order is printed in full. Messages to the State Legislature 
alone have been abridged, and in these only allusions to matters pecu- 
liarly local in their nature have been omitted. Nothing original has 
been incorporated into the body of the work beyond the headings 
and brief syllabus prefixed to the speeches, proclamations, etc., intended 
as a guide to the reader. In preparing this work, gentlemen of op- 
posite political sentiment have been employed, so that no objection 
might be urged against its perfect fairness. 

It is also proper to state that the work has been compiled, arranged, 
and published on the sole and exclusive responsibility of its editors and 
publisher, although Mr. Seymour has cheerfully furnished such ma- 
terial as he had at hand. Mr. Seymour is thus put upon his record 
precisely as the lapse of time has perfected that record. It is due, 
however, in justice to him, to state that he deems many of his speeches 
incorrectly reported ; still, as corrections of them were not made in 
the journals of the day in which they appeared, no modifications, 
alterations, or corrections have been permitted in this volume, except 
such as were necessary to make the sense clear and distincjt. 

The analytical index at the end of the work will commend itself to 
those who have occasion to study the record herewith furnished. 

The Editoes. 

New York, August 20, 1868. 


Announcement , iii 

Mb. Seymour at Springfield, Mass., July 4, 1856. ^ 

The Democratic Theory of Government — State Rights — The Meddling 
Theory of Government — Coercive Temperance Legislation — Know- 
nothingism — Unauthorized Political Meddling — The Nebraska Bill — 
Evil Tendencies of Republican Legislation 1-21 

Mr. Seymour at the Democratic Convention, Albany, January 
31, 1861. 

Calamities of Country due to Party in Power — Comparison between 
Time of Washington's Administration and present — Territorial Ques- 
tion the particular Subject of Controversy — How the Question was 
treated in past Times — Differences between North and South — How 
the War should be conducted — Quotation from John Quincy Adams- 
Necessity of a Compromise — Propriety of a Compromise — Treatment 
of Seceded and Border States — How the Missouri Compromise was 
made — Objects of the Convention — Pears of National Calamity 22-33 

Mr. Seymour at a Democratic Ratification Meeting, TJtica, 
N. Y., Octobers, 1861. 

The War attributable to a Neglect of Washington's Injunctions — The 
Duty of Citizens to the Government — Reciprocal Duty of the Govern- 
ment to the People — Official Wrongs a Matter for Future Investigation 
■ — The Government must be furnished with Means to conduct the War 
to a successful Issue — Beneficial Influence of the Camp — The Soldiers 
Qualified to fix the Terms of Peace — Valor of the South— Agitators con- 
demned — Indissolubility of the Union — Abolition of Slavery impossible 
— Protest against Disbanding the Democratic Party — Attack on the 
Union Party Movement 32-43 

Public Meeting at Utica, N. Y, July 14, 1862, to aid Enlist- 
iL ments. 

Call for the Meeting — Mr. Seymour's Speech — Mr. Seymour's Subscrip- 
tion 43-45 

Mr. Seymour at the Democratic State Convention, Albany, 
September 10, 1862, on receiving the Nomination of Governor. 
Thanks for the Nomination — Refers to Action' of previous Convention — 
Refusal of the Republicans to make Compromise — Result of Republi- 
can Action — What he saw in the Army and at Washington — Present 
Condition of the Country — Newspaper Extracts — Urges Party Organi- 
zation — Demands bold and determined Issues — Shows why the Republi- 
cans cannot save the Country — On the Question of emancipating and 
arming Negroes — Taxation — Proposals for Democratic Action 45-58 

Mr. Seymour at a Democratic Ratification Meeting, Cooper 
Institute. New York, October 13, 1862. 

Republican Attacks considered— Party Epithets illustrated — The Speak- 
er's War Record— The Record of Republican Leaders — Mr. Seymour 
and Mr. Tremaine — Daniel S. Dickinson— Efforts to suppress Free 
' Speech — The Objects of the Republicans — Democratic Purposes — Jus- 
tice to Officials — Radicalism against Conservatism — Tendency of Radi- 
cal Policy — The Committee on the Conduct of the War — Tendency to 
Violence and Disorder— Drifting toward Revolution — Our Home Du- 
ties — The Democratic Position 58-74 

Mr. Seymour at the Brooklyn (N. Y.) Academy of Music, October 
22, 1862. 

The Democracy as a Majority — Its Demands of the Government — The 
Situation— The Duty of Citizens— The Usefulness of Parties— Obe- 
dience to constituted Authorities — The Remedy for alleged Grievances 
— Republican and Democratic Loyalty contrasted — United Support of 



the Government essential to Success — Insubordination in Army and Civil 
Life rebuked — Sectional Misrepresentation denounced — Free Discus- 
sion demanded — Honesty and Economy in the Administration of Na- 
tional Affairs essential to Success — Contract Swindles pointed out — 
The Mode in which the Nation's Life is to be saved — Constitution 
Tinkering — The Union as it was, the true Purpose of the War — Pros- 
perity under Democratic Rule — Attitude of the Democracy toward the 
South 75-84 

Me. Seymour at Utica, N. Y., Not. 6, 1862. 

His Election as Governor — Significance of the Result — Not a Partisan 
Triumph — It portends a great Revolution— Its Effect upon the World 
— A Blessing to the whole Country — Democratic Purposes — Reiteration 
of Former Advice to Government and People — Pledges to sustain the 
Federal Administration — The Democratic Success strengthens the Na- 
tional Credit, insures a successful Issue of the War, and averts Na- 
tional Bankruptcy, or Repudiation °°~ °" 

Governor Seymour's First Annual Message to the Legislature 
op the State of New York, January 7, 1863. 

Condition of Public Affairs— What New York has done— Local Matters 
— Opinion about the Drafting Laws— National Affairs— Causes of the 
War — Respect for Laws and Rulers — Necessity of Economy — Limita- 
tions of Power— State Rights— Arbitrary Arrests— Rights of People 
during Civil War — Powers of Government — Martial Law — Violations 
of the Constitution — Emancipation Proclamation — The Central and 
Western States — Extremes will not prevail — Adjustment of Interests 
— Political Interests, and Necessity of restoring the Union 88-105 

Governor Seymour and the Soldiers. 

Special Message to the Legislature on the Question of allowing the Sol- 
diers to vote 106-108 

Governor Seymour and the Soldiers. 

Special Message Vetoing the Soldiers' Franchise Bill 108-110 

Governor Seymour at the Presentation op Regimental Colors 
to the State Legislature, April 24, 1863 110-111 

TnE Pennsylvania Invasion. 

Official Telegraphic Correspondence 111-117 

Gov. Seymour at the Academy op Music, New York, July 4, 1863. 

Review of the Situation — Action of Democrats and Republicans for past 
two Years — Necessity of a united North — Obedience to Constituted 
Authorities — Limits to Official Jurisdiction — Appeal and Warning to 
Republicans — Demand for Constitutional Liberty and Rights — Objects 
of Government — Powers of the Constitution — Advice to the Demo- 
cracy 118-124 

The New York Riots. 

Official Correspondence — Proclamations — Governor Seymour's Speech to 
the Rioters — Military Orders — Gen. Wool's Report— Gen. Sandford's 
Report lSo-m 

Correspondence between Gen. Dix and Gov. Seymour on the 
Removal op Troops prom New York City 139-145 

Orders and Proclamations concerning the Draft of 1863 ! 145-148 

Governor Seymour and the Draft of 1863. 

Correspondence with President Lincoln — Communication to the Legisla- 
ture announcing the Adjustment of the Draft Difficulties — Legislative 
Vote of Thanks 148-159 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting in Buffalo, N. Y, 
Oct. 26, 1863. 

Points upon which all Men agree — Points of Divergence — The Democ- 
racy on higher Ground than the Republicans — It proposes to wage the 
War for attainable Purposes — Congressional Declaration of the Objects 
of the War — Progress of the Change of Policy — The Objects sought 
by the Party in Power unattainable— Centralization criticised — The 
Strength of the Government in the Affections of the People— The 



Draft Difficulties — The more Profitable Results of Volunteering— New 
York and the Pennsylvania Invasion — The Value of the Constitution 
— Disregard of it by ihe ruling Power and the Dangers thereof — Loy- 
alty of the Democratic Party 160-168 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting at Syracuse, 
N. Y., Oct. 28, 1863. 

Republican Opinions of the Speaker — He ignores Personal Assaults — 
Review of the previous Year — Call for more Troops — Our Armies on 
the Defensive — The Issue pending in the New York Election — More 
than great Armies requisite for Success in War — The attainable Ends 
only should be sought — New Issues condemned — Military Necessities 
considered — Personal Liberty and Constitutional Rights — Value of the 
Constitution — Denies that he has ever hindered or embarrassed the 
National Administration — Aid sent to the GeneraLGovernment by New 
York under his Administration as Governor — His Policy in the Draft 
Controversy— Justice demanded — How to make a strong Government 
—The new Call for Troops 168-176 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting held at TTtica, 
N. Y., Oct. 29, 1863. 

The Calls for Troops — Discouraging Aspects of the Campaign — The Na- 
tion drifting towards Bankruptcy and Ruin — The true Patriotic Rem- 
edy — Republican and Democratic Loyalty compared — The Policy of 
Conciliation and the Policy of Force contrasted — Disastrous Conse- 
quences resultingfrom new Issues — Marvellous Results of the Conscrip- 
tion — Its Unequal Effects — Efforts to avert it — Its Unequal Apportion- 
ment — Production of Drafting — Appeal for Volunteers to fill the 
State's Quota 176-182 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting held at the 
Cooper Institute, New York, Oct. 31, 1863. 

The Demand for Troops — Total Number called for — Waste of Life in the 
War — Tendency to National Bankruptcy and Ruin — The Questions of 
the Day — Why the North is divided— The Democracy opposed to Eman- 
cipation — Subjugation demanded by the Republicans — Attitude of the 
two Political Parties — Advantages of the Democratic Policy — A speedy 
Termination of the War demanded — The Policy of Conciliation- 
Peace otherwise secured no Peace — Cost of the Radical Policy — Radi- 
cal Policy inconsistent with National Honor — Prolongation of- the War 
means Repudiation — The Danger of New Issues — A strong Govern- 
ment illustrated — Historical Review of the Formation of the National 
Government — Senatorial Usurpations — Unequal Political Power of 
New England — Defence of the Military Record of New York — The 
Draft Controversy — The New York Democracy and the pending 
Election 188-197 

Proclamation op Thanksgiving, 1863 197 

Governor Seymour's Secqnd Annual Message to the State 
Legislature, January 5, 1864. 

Staff Reports — The Enrolment and the Draft — Irregularities in the Enrol- 
ment—Failure of the Draft — Volunteering advocated — Spasmodic At- 
tempts to reinforce the Army deprecated—Sympathy between Citizens 
and Soldiers advocated — The Militia, its Services and Importance— /The 
Pennsylvania Invasion — The New York Riots — Defenceless Condition 
oi New York Harbor — Apprehended Raid from Canada — The National 
Banks — Alleged Encroachments by the General Government — The Na- 
tional Debt — Conflicting Theories of the End sought in the War — 
General Discussion of National Affairs — The Borough System of Repre- 
sentation — Dangers of National Bankruptcy — Statesmanship needed. . 198-313 

Governor Seymour at the Opening op the Army Relief Ba- 
zaar, Albany, N. Y., February 22, 1864. 

Appropriateness of the Occasion — Historical Sketch — Albany and the 
Sacking of Schenectady in 1690— Albany the Birthplace of the American 
Union — The American Flag first borne into Battle in Defence of Al- 
bany — Charitable Purposes of the Bazaar — Charity a patriotic Agent 
unequalled — Virtues nourished by War — Worn en's Sympathy with Suf- 
fering 312-315 



Governor Seymour on the Payment of the Interest of the 
State Debt in Coin. 

Special Message to the Legislature — Circular to Merchants and Bankers. 215-318 

Order on the Death of General Wads-worth 218 

The Suspension of Democratic Newspapers in New York. 

Letters to A. Oakey Hall, District Attorney of New York County 318-221 

Eeception to Veteran Volunteer Regiments. 

Letter to T. Roosevelt urging the Matter 221 

The Call for Twelve Thousand Men for One Hundred Days. 

Order directing the Recruitment of Militia Regiments — Orders to the 
First and Second Divisions — Appeal to the People 221-234 

Proclamation of a National Fast, August 4, 1864 324 

The Proposed Draft of 1864. 

Letter to Secretary Stanton asking a Revision of the Enrolments — Letter 
to the Mayors of New York and Brooklyn 225-237 

The Threatened Raid from Canada in 1864. 

Correspondence between Citizens of Buffalo and Governor Seymour — 
Orders to the Militia 227-229 

Governor Seymour at the Democratic National Convention, 
Chicago, August 30, 1864. 

Speech on taking the Chair as President — Remarks declining to be a Can- 
didate — Remarks on adjourning the Convention 230-234 

Governor Seymour at Milwaukee, September 1, 1864. 

Refers to Chicago Convention — Hoped the West might have prevented 
War — Expense of the War — Time has come to judge the Administra- 
tion — Reviews the Military Situation — Condition of Border States — 
Official Order prohibiting People of Western States to bear Arms — Con- 
dition of West after Three Years of War — Believes War has been in 
vain — Condition of Kentucky— Reasons for supporting General McClel- 
lan — Effects of Republican Policy — Opposes centralized Power — Past 
Prosperity contrasted with present Condition 234-241 

Governor Seymour at New York, September 8, 1864. 

What was done at Chicago — Conduct of the War — Duties of the Adminis- 
tration — Faults of Policy — Border States — Right of the People to bear 
Arms , 241-344 

Order on the Death of Gen. Russell 244-245 

Correspondence with Orison Blunt on the Completion of the 
Quota of Troops under the Call of 1864 245-246 

Remarks to the McClellan Legion, New York, October 4, 1864. 246-247 

Correspondence with the Secretary of War, asking Furloughs 
for Soldiers to vote 347 

Goveknor Seymour at Philadelphia, October 5, 1864. 

Action of New York in the War — Duties of the Governor — The Waste of 
War — Patriotism of the Northern People — Reviews the Conduct of the 
Administration — Commends the Army and Navy — Effect of the War 
upon the People at Home — Condition of the Border States — Orders of 
the Administration in Maryland and in the Western States — Contrasts 
Period of War with Time preceding — Unconstitutionality of Congres- 
sional Acts — Arbitrary Arrests — Conduct of Administration toward 
People of the South — Mr. Lincoln — Character of his Policy — Hopes and 
Fears for Future— Reasons why Democracy should settle Difficulties — 
The Confiscation Laws— Enlistments and the Draft— Armies after the 
War 248-262 

Official Action on the Arrest of Col. Samuel North, New York 
State Agent, at Washington, D.C., October 18, 1864 262 

COOTENm is: 


Actios is keoard to the Ksrolmest of 1864. 

Proclamation urging Citizens to co-operate to seme a correct Enrolment 
— Circular to Supervise urgmg same— Tuljubr Statement of Quotes.. 364-36S 


Albasy, H.Y., Jascart 3, 1865. 

Laborious Duties of the Office of Governor— Commends bis Successor to 
popular Support— Bernards to Governor Fenton— History and Policy 
of the State „ 366-363 

Goteksor Sbxmocr at a Democratic aLektesg is Buffalo, Octo- 
ber a, 1865. 

The Questions of {he Day— Has the War been in vain— Indorsement and 
Advocacy of toe President's Plan of Restoration— Republican Admis- 
sions of tbe Correctness of Democratic Policy— Negro Suffrage— The 
National Debt— lis Excess of official Statements— An Increase to be 
avoided only by restoring Southern States to toeir Bights— Appeal to 
laboring Men— Reasons -ray toe Democrats nominated certain Repub- 
licans for Sate Officers. 3GS-3T4 

Goteksor Setmdcr at a Democratic Meettsg at Seskca Falls, 
H.T., Not. 1, 1865. 

Party Passions and Tindictxveness rebubad— Example of toe "Chosen 
People"— -Why is the Cnion not restored ?— Questions of toe Canvass — 
Tlw^tesidentls Policy— Perils in toe Future— The Public Debt— luna- 
tion of the Currency— How toe laboring Han is affected— How it affects 

i Hew Tort— How to get rid of useless Offi- 
da&— The Constitutional Question— Ontraraaaon opposed to the 
American Theory of Government— The Democratic Contentio n Goa - 
cralSlocumand h i sMa ligrters— Oppoiafcirei to Repudiation— Free Speech. 274-383 

Goteksor Seymour at a Democratic Nattosai. Cxrox Mketesg, 
Cooper Ssstttcte, Hew Tore. October SO, 1866. 

. of Strife and Bitterness — Contrast of American and Pnrs- 
-Faiiure of the Republican Party— Partisanship, 
not Patriotism conaoIScgPubUe Affairs— ImpottGyaf JBlnaryGoTern- 
rointsmtoeSouto— l^ConetitotionalAmesdmeat— lis logical E&eet 
on the Sew England States— Approval of the President's Poury— ; Dfe- 
aporoTal of toe Congressional Policy— The National Debt— Congres- 
sional Action tends to toe Depreciation of toe National Securities— Ks- 
trembis preferred to Moderate Men— ESbrts to change toe Constitution 
and depose toe Presnent— The Wastefulness of Government toe chief 
Peril to the Public Faith— Cost of beeping the Sooth in Subj " 
Taxation— labor pays toe Tares— ErOs to the North of toe 1 
skwal PoHey in the South— The Currency of toe Country seeti 
— Radicalism overriding Conservatism in the Party in Power— Moder- 
ate leaders run over— Dangers to toe Country— A Hem for toe 
Blirbi TTir Interests of toe Bepubliean Party demand Discord and 
Disorder.. 3SS-SS6 

Goteksor Sbymotjr at the Democratic State Costextiox, Al- 
bany, H.T., October 3, 1867. 

Bebeuaan subdued to give place to Bevohrfcica*— Congress reviewed— M 
Extremes of toe Senate— The Suffrage Question— CordBetinaTfewsof 
toe political States of the South— Prevalent Immorality and Crime in 
toe Country-Financial Condition of toe Country— Causes of the De- 
cline of toe Public Credit— The Southern Question pressed to cover 
Financial Embarrassments— The Greenback Question— A 
Legislature pass its Interest in depreciated Currency 
favor erf Repudiation— Cisrair EsiibnB of the Public ] 
toe Cost of toe Government— The True Financial FoBi^— Seduction of 
Public Expenses required— Taxes divided between Officers and YioSafc- 

ofers a Premium to Fraud— The 

Duty of Government to foster Commerce — Congress building up] 
Commerce and encouraging toe Growth of Cotton mtodia— T*-- 
rattonof tl>e Cnion toe crowning Requisite. 



Governor Seymour at the Democratic State Convention, Al- 
bany, N.Y., March 11, 1868. 

Unsettled State of the Country — The Negro Question — Tariffs and Taxes 
■ — Congress and Morals — Finances — Currency — The Greenback Ques- 
tion — The Democratic Party and the National Debt — An Appeal for the 
Public Credit — A Word to Capitalists— The National Debt— Why op- 
posed to Congress — Andrew Johnson — Impeachment — Another Im- 
peachment — What must be done 309-323 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting at Cooper Insti- 
tute, New York, June 25, 1868. 

General Dissatisfaction with the Conduct of the Congressional Party — Em- 
barrassments to Unity of the Opposition — The approaching National 
Convention — Financial Condition of the Country — The Speaker's Posi- 
tion in 1862 and 1863— The same Views reaffirmed — The Democratic 
Party foresaw present Troubles — Returns for Taxes, how distributed — 
Favoritism shown to the Eastern, States — Greenbacks a Government 
Cheat — Where Government Bonds are held — Savings Banks and Life 
Insurance Companies — Where the Interests of the East and West clash 
— Conflicting Interests harmonized — A Uniform Currency demanded — 
How to make Greenbacks as good as Coin — Contraction denounced — 
Re-establishment of the National Credit urged — The Folly of Inflation 
illustrated — Waste and Profligacy must give place to Economy in the 
Management of Public Affairs — Expenses of the Government compared 
with former Years — Save in Expenses and pay off the Debt — This will 
re-establish Credit — The Negro Question — The Question at issue in 
1868— Republican Policy tends to still greater Increase of Debt — Policy 
of the Democratic Party 322-334 

Governor Seymour's Speech on taking toe Chair as Permanent 
President of the Democratic National Convention, July 6, 

Duties of Presiding Officer — Responsibilities of the Occasion — Patriotic 
Purposes of the Gathering — Review of the Republican Platform — Re- 
pudiation — Alleged Injustice to Soldiers and Sailors — Immigration — 
Alleged Disregard of the Constitution by the Republican Party — The 
Republican Nominee — An Appeal for Unity of Action — Analogy be- 
tween the present Meeting and the Inauguration of Washington — 
The Gathering of Soldiers and Sailors 335-338 

Governor Seymour's Opposition to becoming the Democratic 
Candidate for President in 1868. 

Letter to the Oneida Democratic Union — Letter to a Citizen of Onondaga 
County — Remarks at Caucus of the New York Delegation — Remarks 
in Convention on first Presentation of his Name — Remarks in Conven- 
tion pending the Nomination 338-341 

Governor Seymour's Acceptance op the Nomination of the 
Democratic National Convention for President of the United 

Speeches at Tammany Hall, New York, July 10, 1868 — Letter formally 
accepting the Nomination 341-347 

Governor Seymour to the Citizens of Utica on nis Return from 
the Democratic National Convention, July 13, 1868 347 

Governor Seymour not a Bondholder 347 


Address of Mr. Seymour before the New York State Militaby 
Association, Albany, January 23, 1862. 

Militia Organizations a Constitutional Requirement — Power and Impor- 
tance of the Militia— Evil Results to the Country of neglecting the 
Militia — Wickedness of the Rebellion — Dangers threatening the State 
of New York— Its Exposure to British Invasion— Strength of the Militia 
— Strategic Importance of the State — Past Military Experiences 351-3!! 8 


TANT Episcopal Church, New York, October 4, 1862. 

Speech on the Question of the "Withdrawal of the Southern Dioceses from 
the General Convention 358-360 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting in Rome, N. Y., 
November IS, 1862. 

Rejoicings over the Conservative Victories — Logic of the Election Re- 
sults—The Issues involved and settled — Charity toward the Republi- 
cans—Promised Executive Clemency to Political -Enemies — As Gov- 
ernor, is going to bless Opponents with Political Advantages — -Facetious 
allusions to Mr. Kernan — The Speaker's Certificate of Character from 
his own Neighbors — He affects Dairy-farming and Cheese-making more 
than Political Honors and Public Office — National Charaoter and Ef- 
fect of the Triumph — Promise of a Restoration of official Purity and 
Constitutional Unity — Future Prosperity, Greatness, and Glory of the 
Country ; 360-365 

Governor Seymour at the Democratic State Convention, Al- 
bany, Sept. 9, 1863. 

Refers to the Past — Action of Democracy when War began — Appeals to 
Party in Power — Effect of Usurpations and arbitrary Measures — Powers 
and Rights of the States — Opinion upon the Confiscation Act — Impolicy 
and Injustice of Conscription — Faith in the Union — Obedience to the 
Laws — Efforts to regulate the Enrolment — Their Result — The proper 
Policy is Conciliation — The Emancipation Proclamation — Hopes for 
Peace, and demands Integrity of the Union 365-369 

Governor Seymour at the Dedication of the Gettysburg Ceme- 
tery, Nov. 19, 1863 370 

Letter from Governor Seymour declining an Invitation to a 
Democratic Meeting in New York. 

Confidence, in Defeat — The Breaking up and Defeat of the Democratic 
Party one of the Causes of the War— Its Restoration to Power essential 
to the Welfare of the Country — Objections to partisan Policy of the 
Government — The true Policy of the Democratic Party — Confidence 
in the Future 370-373 

Circular urging Volunteering to avoid a Draft 372-373 

Governor Seymour and the Labor Question. 

Letter defining his Position in 1864 on the Eight-Hour Law ; and giving 
his Views of the Relations between Currency and Labor 3734374 

Governor Seymour at Bridgeport, Conn. , April 3, 1868. 

Business Embarrassments and Commercial Stagnation — Necessity of a 
Political Change in the Country — Helplessness of the Republican Party 
to save the Country — Extreme Measures of the Republican Party forced 
upon them as natural Results of wrong Policy — The Impeachment of 
President Johnson — The Democratic Party untrammelled with Em- 
barrassments and Entanglements that compel Republicans to adopt 
Extreme Measures — The North punished more than the South by Re- 
publican Policy — The Financial Question — Labor and Taxation — Re- 
publican Waste and Extravagance — Republican Legislation incongru- 
ous and incomprehensible — Swarms of corrupt Officials filling the 
Land — Negro Suffrage — Capacity of the Negro as a Law-maker — Prac- 
tical Business Questions 374-384 

Index 385 



Mr. Seymour at Springfield, Mass., July 4, 1856. 

The Democratic Theory of Government — State Rights — The Meddling Theory 
of Government — Coercive Temperance Legislation — Know-nothingism — 
Unauthorized Political Meddling — The Nebraska Bill — Evil Tendencies 
of Republican Legislation. 

Fob the purpose of standing upon the soil of Massachusetts, to 
defend the principles of our party and the honor and interests of our 
■whole country, I declined the invitations to meet on this day the 
Democracy of Philadelphia, exulting in the nomination of Mr. Bu- 
chanan, or to unite ■with thousands who cluster around the time- 
honored halls- of St. Tammany in the city of New York. In a great 
battle, we love to stand where our ranks are thinnest, and our oppo- 
nents muster in their might. We seek out the adversaries of religious 
and political freedom in their strongholds, and we raise the standard 
of our Union where sectional jealousy, bigotry, and hate are most 
rife. I honor those who have stood up manfully in this State against 
the overwhelming numbers of the advocates of alien and sedition 
laws ; against those who preached and practised treason in the last 
war with Great Britain ; against those who prayed that our armies in 
Mexico might be met with bloody hands and hospitable graves ; 
against those who have persecuted defenceless women for their reli- 
gious faith ; against those whose chief effort at this time is to teach 
one half of our common country to hate the other half. I have lately 
been upon the shores of the great lakes at the north, upon the banks 
of the Mississippi at the west, in the valley of the Potomac at the 
south, and upon the margin of the Hudson in New York, and it gives 
me pleasure to say to you who live along the course of the Connecti- 
cut, and amid the hills of New England, that but one sentiment ani- 
mates the great national party to which we belong ; and to tell you, 



the true men of Massachusetts, that however small your numbers 
may be here, you belong to a brotherhood who, like yourselves, love 
our whole country, and who are strong enough to defend it against 
either foreign assault or domestic treason. 

We meet upon a day thick clustering with memories sacred to 
American patriots. These will animate us upon this occasion. No 
word will be uttered here which will jar with the recollections of the 
past. If those who, eighty years ago, came from the north, the west, 
and the south, to rescue Boston from hostile hands, and to drive de- 
stroying armies from the soil of Massachusetts, could have heard, in 
anticipation, our words telling of the greatness of our country, and^ of 
our devotion to its preservation, their hearts would have thrilled with 
joy and pride. If, on the other hand, their hearing had been cursed 
by the appeals to passion and prejudice which are made, even now, 
in a neighboring assemblage, how would that patriotic array have 
been struck down by the base ingratitude ! The strong heart of 
"Washington would have given way as he listened to the revilings of 
his native State, and of the descendants of those who had followed him 
from Virginia, to peril their lives for this State in the day of its trial 
and distress. 

At this time our country is convulsed with moral disorders, with 
religious dissensions and political agitations. Denunciatory language 
and violent conduct disgrace our national capital. Most of the great 
religious denominations are divided, and glare across a sectional line 
with fierce hatred, withholding from each other the charity and cour- 
tesies which they extend to their coreligionists from foreign lands. 
Another tie which has heretofore held our country together, has been 
disbanded, and from its ruins has sprung a political organization 
trusting for its success to sectional prejudices. It excludes from its 
councils the people of nearly one-half the Union ; it seeks a triumph 
over one-half our country. The battle-fields of Yorktown, of Cam- 
den, of New Orleans, are unrepresented in their conventions ; and no 
delegates speak for the States where rest the remains of Washing- 
ton, Jefferson, Marion, Sumter, or Morgan, or of the later hero, 
Jackson. They cherish more bitter hatred of their own countrymen 
than they have ever shown towards the enemies of our land. If the 
language they hold this day had been used eighty years since, we 
should not have thrown off the British yoke ; our national constitu- 
tion would not have been formed ; and if their spirit of hatred contin- 
ues, our constitution and government will cease to exist. 

Let us, with earnest patriotism, inquire into the causes of these 
evils, and see how far they are produced by erroneous political prin- 
ciples. I shall make no imputations upon motives. We will leave 
it to others to appeal to prejudice. With us it shall be a calm dis- 
cussion of principle. We will not attempt to judge of parties or 
communities by the conduct of individuals, or to decide if Mr. Brooks 
or Mr. Fremont are to be held up as ruffians because they have been 
excited to acts of violence by words used in Senatorial debate. 

The moral, religious, and political evils of the day are the inevitable 
consequences of the principles held by our adversaries, and will al- 
ways follow every attempt to carry them into practice. Upon the 
other hand, adherence to the principles of the Democratic party has 
ever advanced the honor of our country, the prosperity of society, 


and the cause Of religion, morality, and good order. What are the 
underlying causes which produce such opposite results ? 

The Democratic theory takes away control from central points and 
distributes it to the various localities that are most interested in its 
wise and honest exercise. It keeps at every man's home the greatest 
share of the political power that concerns him individually. It yields 
it to the remoter legislative bodies in diminishing proportions as they 
recede from the direct influence and action of the people. The prin- 
ciple of self-government is not the mere demagogical idea that the 
people, in their collective capacity, are endowed with a wisdom, pa- 
triotism, and virtue superior to their individual characters. The 
people as a society are as virtuous or as vicious, as intelligent or as 
ignorant, as brave or as cowardly, as the persons who compose it. 
The great theory of local self-government under which our country is 
expanding itself over a continent, without becoming weak by its exten- 
sion, is founded on these propositions. That government is most wise 
which is in the hands of those best informed about the .particular 
questions on which they legislate ; most economical and honest, when 
controlled by those most interested in preserving frugality and virtue ; 
most strong, when it only exercises authority which is beneficial in 
its action to the governed. These are obvious truths, but how are 
they to be made available for practical purposes ? It is in this that 
the wisdom of our institutions consists. In their progress, they are 
developing truths in government which have not only disappointed 
the hopes of our enemies and dissipated the fears of our friends, but 
give promise in the future of such greatness and civilization as the 
world has never seen. 

The legislation which most affects us is local in its character. The 
good order of society, the protection of our lives and our property, 
the promotion of religion and learning, the enforcement of statutes, or 
the upholding the unwritten laws of just moral restraints, mainly 
depend upon the virtue and wisdom of the inhabitants of townships. 
Upon such questions, so far as they particularly concern themselves, 
the people of the towns are more intelligent and more interested than 
those outside of their limits can be for them. The wisest statesman 
living and acting at the city of Washington, cannot understand these 
affairs, nor can they conduct them as well as the citizens upon the 
ground.. What is true of one town is true of the other ten thousand 
towns in the United States. When we shall have fifty thousand 
towns, this system of government will in no degree become over- 
loaded or complicated. There will be no more then for each citizen 
to do than now. Our town officers in the aggregate are more impor- 
tant than congressmen or senators. Hence the importance to our 
government of religion, morality, and education, which enlighten and 
purify the governed and the governor at the same time, and which 
must ever constitute the best securities for the advancement and hap- 
piness of our country. The next organization in order and importance 
are boards of county officers, who control questions of a local charac- 
ter, but affecting more than the inhabitants of single towns. The 
people of each county are more intelligent and more interested in 
what concerns their own affairs than any amount of wisdom or of 
patriotism outside of it. The aggregate transactions of our supervi- 
sors are more important than those of our State Legislature. When 


we have secured good government in towns and counties, most of the 
objects of government are gained. In the ascending scale of rank, 
in the descending scale of importance, is the Legislature, which is, or 
should be, limited to State affairs. Its greatest wisdom is shown by 
the smallest amount of legislation, and its strongest claims for grati- 
tude grow out of what it does not do. Our general government is 
remarkable for being the reverse of every other system. Instead of 
being the source of authority, it only receives the remnant of power 
after all that concerns town, county, and State jurisdiction has been 
distributed. Its jurisdiction, although confined within narrow limits, 
is of great dignity, for it concerns our national honor, and provides 
for the national defence. We make this head of our system strong 
when we confine its action to those objects which are of general inter- 
est and value, and prevent its interference with subjects upon whicli 
it cannot act with a due degree of intelligence. If our general gov- 
ernment had the legislative power which is now divided between 
town, county, and State jurisdiction, its attempts at their exercise 
would shiver it into atoms. If it was composed of the wisest and 
purest men the world ever saw, it could not understand all the varied 
interests of a land as wide as all Europe, and with as great a diversity 
of climate, soil, and social condition. The welfare of the several com- 
munities would be sacrificed to the ignorance or prejudices of those 
who had no direct concern in the laws they imposed upon others. 
Under our system of government, the right to interfere is less than 
the disposition many show to meddle with what they do not under- 
stand ; and over every section of our great country there are local 
jurisdictions familiar with their wants, and interested in doing what 
is for the right. It required seven centuries to reform palpable 
wrongs in enlightened Britain, simply because the powers of its gov- 
ernment, concentrated in Parliament, were far removed from the suf- 
ferings and injuries those wrongs occasioned. Under our institutions, 
evils are at once removed when intelligence and virtue have shown 
them in their true light to the community in which they exist. As 
intelligence, virtue, and religion are thus potential, let us rely upon 
them as the genial influences which will induce men to throw off the 
evils which encumber them, and not resort to impertinent meddling, 
howling denunciations, and bitter taunts, which prompt individuals 
and communities to draw the folds of wrong more closely about 

The theory of local self-government is not founded upon the idea* 
that the people are necessarily virtuous and intelligent, but it attempts 
to distribute each particular power to those who have the greatest 
interest in its wise and faithful exercise. It gives to every township 
the right to direct its own local affairs ; the people of a town being 
more intelligent about their own affairs than the public of any other 
locality. In the same way it leaves to every county the legislation 
that pertains to the county, and to every State the legislation that 
pertains to the State. Such distribution of political power is 
founded on the principle, that persons most interested in any matter 
manage it better than even wiser men who are not interested therein. 
Men act precisely thus in their private concerns. When we are sick 
we do not seek the wisest men in the community, but the physician 
who is best acquainted with our disorder and its remedies. If we 


wish to build, we seek not the" most learned man, but the man most 
skilful in the kind of structure we desire to erect ; and if we require 
the services of an agent, the one is best for us who is best acquainted 
personally with our wants, and most interested in satisfying them. 
The Bible intimates this course when it says, that a man can judge 
better in relation to his own affairs than seven watchmen on a high 
tower. Acting upon these simple principles, the tendency of Democ- 
racy has constantly been to remove power from great central agen- 
cies, and to distribute it among the localities which have the best intel- 
ligence for its exercise, and the highest personal interest in exercising * 
it judiciously. 

This system not only secures good government for each locality, 
but it also brings home to each individual a sense of his rights and 
responsibilities ; it elevates his character as a man ; he is taught self- 
reliance ; he learns that the performance of his duty as a citizen is the 
best corrective for the evils of society, and is not led to place a vague, 
unfounded dependence upon legislative wisdom or inspirations. The 
principle of local and distributed jurisdiction not only makes good 
government, but it also makes good manhood. Under European gov- 
ernments, but few feel that they can exert any influence upon public 
morals or affairs ; but here, every one knows that his character and 
conduct will at least affect the character of the town in which he 

The conviction gains ground that the general government is strength- 
ened and made most enduring by lifting it above invidious duties, 
and by making it the point around which rally the affections and pride 
of the American people, as the exponent to the world at large of our 
common power, dignity, and nationality. 

Under this system our country has attained its power, its prosper- 
ity, and its magnificent proportions. Look at it upon the map of the 
world ! It is as broad as all Europe. Mark its boundaries ! The 
greatest chain of fresh-water lakes upon the globe bathes its northern 
limits ; the Atlantic and Pacific wash its eastern and western shores; 
and its southern borders rest upon the great Mediterranean Sea of 
Mexico. Our policy of government by localities meets every local 
want of this vast region ; it gives energy, enterprise, and freedom to 
each community, no matter how remote or small. And this is done 
so readily and so peaceably that the process resembles the great and 
beneficent operations of nature. See how it tells upon the individual 
citizen; how it develops manhood; how it makes our whole land 
instinct with energy and virtue ! In the world's history, no such ex- 
hibitions have ever been made of intellectual vigor, power, and enter- 
prise, as are now shown by the commercial men of these United States, 
or by its artisans and its agriculturists. These are owing to the prin- 
ciples of local self-government and freedom of individual action. 
Each man understands this in his own affairs, and he prays to be freed 
from legislative interferences. When all men concede to others what 
they thus ask for themselves, the Democratic policy will have no 
opposers. As a party, we reject legislative legerdemain. We have 
but one petition to our law-makers — it is, to be let alone. We have 
one reliance for good government — the intelligence of the people ; one 
source of wealth — the honest, thinking labor of our country ; one hope 
for our workshops — the skill of our mechanics ; one impulse for our 


commerce — the untrammelled enterprise of our merchants; one remedy 
for moral evils — religious education ; one object for our political exer- 
tions — the common good of our great and glorious country. 


In antagonism to the Democratic creed of local and individual 
freedom, there has always existed a pragmatic organization, which 
under different names has sought to build up a system of political 
meddling. Its purposes may have been good ; its claims have been 
high-toned and exacting. Constantly defeated by the results of its 
erroneous principles, its instincts lead it to renew its attempts at power 
by new projects. It is as confident and as denunciatory to-day as 
when it sought to uphold national banks and high tariffs. It now 
claims the exclusive championship of morals, religion, and liberty, as 
it once did the guardianship of the finances and industry of the 
country. We deny that the meddling system of politics is favorable 
to morals, religion, or liberty. History proves the contrary. It has 
ever been the bane of each. It has always furnished the pretexts of 
tyrants. The fires of bigotry, the iron rule of despots, the leaden 
weight of ignorance and degradation, came frbm pragmatical doc- 

Political meddling has done nothing for religion here. It has hung 
Quakers — it persecuted Roger Williams — it has driven pious women 
into exile — it has tried to uphold a theocracy in New England — it 
has divided the church of our land — it has caused bitter sectional 
hate. It has done no good. We need not go back into the past to 
show this — it is proved by the questions of the day. We have 
political meddling with morals in coercive temperance laws ; political 
meddling with religion in Know-nothingism and divided churches ; 
political meddling with rights of local legislation by the Republican 
party. They each sprung from a common sentiment. The man of 
the south who supports Know-nothingism, upholds the spirit of 
bigotry which calls Republicanism into existence. The man of 
foreign birth who aids in the attempt to disfranchise the emigrant to 
the west, will find that he is laboring to take away the right of 
citizenship from the emigrant from the eastern world. He who 
interferes with those a thousand miles away, must not object to the 
intermeddling of his neighbors with his domestic or personal affairs. 
Those who fan the fires of fanaticism in any of its forms, will find 
their homes invaded by its flames. 

It is remarkable that the doctrine of local self-government is most 
bitterly assailed in some of the New England States which owe their 
political power to this principle. Equal representation is given to 
each State in the Senate, the most important branch of the federal 
system, for it has not only the law-making power in common with the 
House of Representatives, but also the power to confirm treaties 
(which are superior to laws), and to restrain the Executive by reject- 
ing official appointments. The Senate holds in check every other de- 
partment of government. 

If New England was asked to give up its disproportionate power 
in the Senate, it would point to the constitutional compact. Then let 


New England see that the compact is respected where it gives as well 
as where it takes. If it was urged that, with a population less than 
that of New York, New England has ten Senators and ten electoral 
votes beyond its proportionate share, and that the constitution should 
be amended to do away with this inequality, the answer would be, 
that it was the wise policy of our constitution to uphold State sove- 
reignties ; that the organization of the Senate was designed to pre- 
vent interference with local affairs by the general government ; that 
representation by States was intended to keep alive the principles of 
local self-government. For these reasons the small States are allowed 
a disproportionate share of power in the Senate. Without these rea- 
sons, the disparity would be intolerable. But the power was given 
only for defensive, not for aggressive purposes. Nor will it be 
tolerated for other purposes. The disproportion of power becomes 
greater each year. Most of the new States have each of them 
land fit for cultivation equal to the aggregate of the six New 
England States. Many of them far exceed that amount. In a few 
yearB they will fill up with population, while your numbers will not 
increase. If a meddling policy is to prevail in our country, an undue 
share of power will not be allowed. Your remote and sequestered 
position, touching the rest of the Union only on the borders of New 
York, will lessen your influence. The principle of interference may 
be brought home to you, and in defence you will be compelled to urge 
the principles of local self-government and State rights, which has 
ever been the creed of the Democratic party. Yet, blind to these con- 
siderations, the legislators of this State have been violent in their 
action against the principle of local sovereignty, which alone gives it 
power ; and most declamatory against the compromise of the consti- 
tution, which alone gives it influence — for the whole number of the citi- 
zens is only equal to the annual increase in the population of the 
United States. 


I will present for your consideration the different phases of this 
spirit of political interference. We have forced upon us in many of 
the States a coercive temperance law, which is claimed by its advo- 
cates to be a new and certain remedy for most of the evils which af- 
flict society, but which is an oft-repeated and always futile effort 
to extend the jurisdiction of statutory laws beyond their proper 

The objections to this measure are twofold : It violates constitu- 
tional laws, and it will increase the evils it claims to abolish. At this 
time many speak lightly of constitutional law. They are impatient 
that their peculiar views are checked by its barriers, not bearing in 
mind that it is their only safeguard against unjust or hasty legislation, 
affecting their lives, their liberties, and their rights of conscience. We 
are made free by written constitutions restraining majorities and 
protecting minorities, and forbidding the legislators from touching a 
single right of a single citizen. In these days of legislative encroach- 
ment and legislative corruption, it is the duty of every citizen to up- 
hold constitutional law. It is strange that those who demand respect 
for coercive temperance laws, should show contempt for the more sa- 


cred obligations of constitutions ; that those who call for submission 
to legislative enactments, denounce and revile the higher decision of 
judicial tribunals. The objections to this legislation are of the grav- 
est kind. It is not merely against drinking, but against thinking. It 
is a mere precedent full of evil. It is well described by an eminent 
clergyman as a " lazy philanthropy which tries to get rid of the du- 
ties of life by declaring its evils abolished by Act of Legislature." 

Its first and greatest mischief is the demoralization and disorganiza- 
tion of temperance efforts. No cause can receive a blow more deadly 
than that which degrades the passions and motives of its advocates. The 
efforts of those engaged in promoting temperance by reason and per- 
suasion, were " twice blessed." They enlarged their own intellect and 
improved their own characters, while they influenced and benefited 
others. But when the law gives them power over their fellow-men, poor 
human nature shows its wonted weakness. Pride and passion are 
aroused, and provoke resistance where persuasion has heretofore pre- 
vailed. I do not mean to urge against this measure that it has un- 
worthy advocates or indiscreet friends ; but that its tendency is to 
arouse bad passions in the breasts of men who have heretofore been 
humane and charitable ; that the power which it gives them over the 
consciences and actions of others, creates a vindictive spirit on the 
one hand, and calls forth resistance on the other. 

What are the effects on the minds of good men when excited by 
the idea of coercion ? They become inflamed with passion, and in- 
dulge in reckless assertions against character, foul imputations against 
motive, and flippant denunciations of judicial decisions. These pas- 
sions have been exhibited even in the pulpit ; and teachers of a meek 
and charitable religion adopt the very language of the enemies of its 
Author, when denouncing men as wine-bibbers and friends of publicans 
and sinners. It is hard to believe, when listening to their invectives, 
that they are servants of Him who was thus reviled because He pro- 
posed to do away with the laws which restrained the actions of men, 
and to introduce in their place the principles which purify the hearts 
and motives. The statute giving them power over their fellow-men, 
like Ithuriel's spear, touches the love of power lurking in the heart 
of all, and evil spirits spring into full force and stature. 

The reasoning urged by the advocates of this statute is this : " In- 
temperance is an evil. It is the duty of government to suppress evils ; 
therefore a coercive law is right." The evil is conceded, and those 
who feel its magnitude cannot and will not consent to any measures 
which increase it. But we must not stop with depicting these evils 
in glowing and exciting terms. The great question is this : Is coer- 
cion a rightful and effectual remedy? This question is usually over- 
leaped in order to reach the denunciatory exercises. The remedy is 
either a new one, or one which has heretofore failed. In either event, 
its advocates are hasty in vilifying those who doubt its efficacy. The 
arguments upon which it is founded have caused most of the political, 
social, and religious evils which oppress mankind. Those who hold 
or usurp power, are wont to say that they deem heresy, or infidelity, 
or dangerous habits of thinking freely, are evils, and that it is the 
duty of a state to remove evils ; and therefore they may punish free- 
dom of thinking, as well as freedom of drinking. In all these cases 
the real question is overlooked. What are the right remedies ? 


The bad effects of this law upon its advocates have been seen. 
Another objection is, that it creates a spirit of resistance which in- 
creases the evil it claims to root out. This fact is shown by the ex- 
perience of different periods in the world's history. The use of 
particular narcotics amongst most nations has been confirmed by 
efforts to suppress their consumption by force. 

The cause of temperance was irresistible in the State of Maine 
while it was upheld by reason and persuasion. It was broken down 
by legislation. The authors of the bill, in the narrowness of their 
intellect, could not see that truth was stronger than statutes. We 
are advised by commercial men, and by the Missionary Journals of 
China, that the attempt to put down the use of opium by force has 
been followed by the greatest social, moral, and political evils. 
There, as here, a dead law is like a dead limb upon a living man ; it 
must be cut off, or it will carry decay and corruption into every part 
of the system. The mischiefs which we begin to feel are there de- 
veloped to their full extent; and he who will trace them there in all 
their influences, will be startled to find how great are the wrongs 
which grow out of mistaken principles of legislation, although 
prompted by good motives. 

The concealed currents of vice, like undercurrents of water, are 
most insidious and destructive. At this time, the Maine law in sev- 
eral States converts a dangerous, and in many circumstances a de- 
structive, habit of drinking intoxicating liquors into one more danger- 
ous and pernicious ; for it superadds the meanness of concealment, 
and the demoralization of hypocrisy. It also makes it more difficult 
to apply timely correctives to" pernicious habits. You cannot warn 
against the seductive habit, without first convicting of an unlawful 
and secret practice. In the meantime the taste has become irresis- 
tible. Prohibitory laws have not prevented drinking ; they have 
made it more hurtful by introducing untruthful pretexts for its use. 

Let the advocates of temperance see what spirit this enactment has 
evoked. Is this the day of triumph for their cause ? Persuasion re- 
quires virtue, ability, and sincerity. Coercive laws are best enforced 
by the violent, vindictive, and base. Hence these are now taking the 
lead. They even show a malignant hostility to those who have 
labored long and sacrificed much for the objects they claim to have 
in view, if they refuse to become politically subservient. Men out 
of repair, morally or politically, in their struggles for party advan- 
tages, throw the consistent advocates of temperance into the back- 
ground ; a benevolent enterprise has fallen into the hands of those 
afflicted with a "vindictive philanthropy," which deranges them with 
the idea that they are virtuous, because they are denunciatory. The 
wise and the thoughtful are overruled by men raging with the deli- 
rium tremens of fanaticism ; who assail the most sacred offices of re- 
ligion ; who see foul serpents coiling upon the sacramental altar, 
infusing their venom into the sacred elements, and hissing amid the 
solemnities of the last supper. 

The terms of the law go beyond the sentiment of all classes, and 
cause a constant inconsistency of language and action. Public offi- 
cers, judges, and clergymen, are compelled to denounce the use of 
wine as a crime, when speaking with all the solemnities of official 
station, or invested with the sacredness of the pulpit. Yet they 


show by their constant intercourse with those who do not use intox- 
icating liquors, that this is a formal language, a mockery, a compli- 
ance with the terms of law which all feel' to be untrue. 

The vital principle of the Christian religion is persuasion, in op- 
position to restraints. It makes temperance and all other virtues 
something positive. It aims to make men unwilling, not unable to do 
wrong. It educates alike the feelings and the understanding, the 
heart and the head. All experience shows that mere restraints from 
vice do not reform. Our prisons are the examples of the perfect sys- 
tem of restraint. Their inmates, for a long series of years, are en- 
tirely prevented from indulging in intemperance or any kindred evil. 
They lead lives of perfect regularity, industry, and propriety, because 
they are compelled to do so. Yet few are reformed by this. Our 
instincts teach us that forced propriety of conduct gives no assurance 
of future virtue ; on the contrary, the very fact that they have been 
subjected to it, is by courts and communities regarded as evidence of 

The very condition of restraint is found to be a positive obstacle in 
the way of the influences of religious education, when brought to 
bear upon the inmates of our prisons. Are the advocates of the tem- 
perance law willing to place themselves upon the footing on which 
they strive to place others ? Will they give up their convictions of 
duty and propriety — surrender every positive virtue, and become 
temperance men merely because they cannot drink ? They will shrink 
from the application of a principle to themselves which they try to 
apply to others. They know that virtues wither and die out under 
such systems. The law has, and does, lead away from the right rem- 
edy to the wrong one. I know that it is difficult to draw the line 
where persuasion should end and coercion begin. Thishas ever been 
the problem which has embarrassed legislatures ; but this we do 
know, that the progress of civilization, morality, and virtue, has been 
marked by the extension of education and religion, and the contrac- 
tion of coercive laws. 

Governments emanate from the people, and merely represent their 
morality or intelligence. The folly which looks to" governments to 
evolve the virtues, is like the ignorance which regards the thermome- 
ter as a regulator of temperature, or the barometer as the controller 
of the weather. 

"We object, then, to this law, because it demoralizes temperance 
men, making them vindictive and violent ; because it arouses a spirit 
of resistance, increasing the evils of intemperance ; because it is a 
step backward in civilization, substituting restraints for education. 
All admit that it is better to be temperate from choice, from thought 
and resolution, than from coercion. Who doubts that persuasion will 
win more than force ? 

But it is said in a triumphant tone, if the law will increase intem- 
perance, why do the sellers of intoxicating liquors object to it? 
Leaving out of view differences of opinion with regard to the propri- 
ety of their use as drink, this very law concedes their necessity for 
mechanical, medical, and sacred uses ; but while it recdgnizes the le- 
gality and necessity of their manufacture and sale, it strives to make 
both odious, dangerous, and degrading ; and this is naturally resisted 
by men whose objects are higher than mere gain, and who do not wish 


to see a business pursuit of conceded necessity, forced into the hands 
of those indifferent to their right of public sentiment. 

I do not assail the motives of its advocates, but good motives do 
not prevent the evil results of false principles. A good motive^ (to 
save men's souls) originated the slave-trade. The same good motives 
kindled the fires of the Inquisition. Good motives and wrong prin- 
ciples have lain at the root of almost every evil which has oppressed 
and afflicted mankind. 

It is gratifying that the great body of the clergy reject this union 
with the State. They continue to put their faith in the Christian, and 
not in the legislative dispensation. Their less sagacious brethren 
will soon find where their infidel alliances will lead them. 


While the coercionist is trying to limit the freedom of his neighbors, 
two other parties, actuated by the same sentiment of political med- 
dling, are assailing different classes of our people. We have " Know- 
nothings " who wish to disfranchise those who come, and " Repub- 
licans " who are resolved to disfranchise those who go. .The first 
hold that those who come from the other side of the Atlantic shall 
gain no political rights ; the last assert that the citizens who go be- 
yond the Missouri should lose the right of self-government they en 
joy at home. Each party unite to place a class of persons in a con- 
dition of pupilage. They assume that men who have the vigor, 
energy, and enterprise to leave their, native land, are unfit to take 
care of themselves. They reverse every American sentiment. _ They 
believe that those who have hazarded their lives and fortunes in their 
efforts to get homes and freedom for themselves and their families, 
have less interest in their own welfare than others have for them. 
These two parties hold in common, that men who emigrate will make 
better citizens if deprived of political right. What would our labor- 
ers say, if told they would make better workmen if they were not 
allowed to become their own employers ? What would the apprentice 
think, if he was advised that he would be more faithful if he was not 
permitted to become a master-mechanic ? or the lawyer, if debarred 
from the judge's seat, to make him a more trustworthy advocate ? 
They would denounce such suggestions ; they would demand encour- 
agement for efforts, by the hopes of all the honors and advantages of 
their pursuits. The folly of trying to make good mechanics, lawyers, 
and doctors, by disfranchising them, is no greater than the folly which 
believes men can be made good citizens by taking from them the 
rights of citizenship. 

It is claimed that the original settlers of our country were endowed 
with all the cardinal virtues, and that they were the authors of our 
civil and religious liberty. Our forefathers committed more out- 
rages upon personal rights than the most bigoted impute to those 
who now come to our shores. Under the influence of fanaticism, 
they drowned and hung their fellow-citizens. They were made wiser 
and better men by the enjoyment of full political rights in the land, 
and the modern emigrant must be allowed the full benefit of the same 


Is the action of your legislators consistent upon the subject ? They 
protest with justice against interference with the emigrants from this 
State to Kansas when sent out by "aid societies," yet the border men 
of Missouri are only enforcing the laws which Massachusetts has 
passed against any foreigner who may be placed upon its shores by 
means of charitable assistance. He is called a pauper, and sent back 
across the ocean. Can that be wise and humane here, which is 
denounced as ruffianism and wrong in Kansas ? 

Absurd efforts are made to trace all the virtues of the American 
character back to the early colonists ; to find the germs of our insti- 
tutions in their first acts after landing upon our shores, and thus to 
make a distinction between them and the modern emigrant. It is 
assumed that the former were models of virtue and wisdom, and 
that we get from them our ideas of civil and religious liberty. 
Nothing can be more fallacious. A contentious feeling was shown on 
the Mayflower; for it is given as a reason for forming a government 
by its emigrants, that, " observing some not well affected to unity 
and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought 
good to combine together in one body, and to submit to such govern- 
ment and governors as they should, by common consent, agree to 
make and choose." The same considerations of religious freedom, or 
of personal advantage, which led the early colonists to the shores of 
this continent, continue to draw hither the inhabitants of the Old 
World. No one denounces the early immigration because there were 
criminals mingled among the good and wise. 

The Know-nothing idea, that men will make better citizens if 
deprived of political privileges, is most undemocratic ; that religious 
sentiments should be persecuted and denounced, is most un-Ameri- 
can ; and that homes should be denied to the poor and oppressed in 
our abundant unoccupied public domain, is most uncharitable and un- 

What is this emigration that is thus denounced ? It is the victory 
of our country and its institutions. It is a mighty achievement in 
our contest for superiority with the Old World. It is a triumph of 
peace. It is a glorious contrast with the devastations of war. It 
annually briugs three hundred thousand " pilgrims," and transplants 
them into happy homes, making them prosperous, and our nation 
great ; while elsewhere, war sacrifices an equal number upon the bat- 
tle-field, and by loathsome disease. It is the manifestation of the 
superior power of commerce over mere martial strength. While 
great nations exhaust their energies, embarrass their finances, and 
carry misery and desolation into the homes of their people, in trans- 
porting their armies to death and disease on distant shores, a few 
merchants of this city bring a greater host across the broad Atlantic, 
and never feel that it is more than an easy and familiar transaction. 
Compared with this great movement, the subjects of European diplo- 
macy are trivial. This is the great combat which is to tell upon the 
destinies of the nation and the history of the world. No Alexander 
or Csesar in the height of his conquests, ever made such acquisitions 
of power as immigration brings to us. 

But those who are against the cause of their country in this con- 
test, contend that emigration brings with it destitution, poverty, 
and crime. Trace these bands of strong-limbed but poor foreigners 


until they plant themselves upon the hitherto useless land of the "West, 
and see how wealth is evolved by their very contact with the soil. 
They were poor, and the fertile land was valueless ; but combine these 
two kinds of poverty, and the wealth which alchemists dreamed of is 
the magical result. Whence comes this mighty volume of prosperity 
which rolls over our land ? Whence the increase of the price of 
farms and lots and broad untilled lands which has given to so many of 
our citizens wealth and prosperity ? What gives employment to our 
cars and boats and ships, transporting armies of men, and retransport- 
ing the products of their labor ? Stop foreign emigration to this 
country, and thousands of those who ignorantly denounce the cause 
of the wealth they enjoy, would find their abundant prosperity wither 
and die away like Jonah's gourd. 

There is danger that this source of prosperity and power will be 
diverted elsewhere. It does not flow to our shores because we alone 
have fertile lands ; there are broad, unoccupied plains not owned by 
us in South America and Australia. Immigration seeks here relig- 
ious and political freedom and equalit)'. Will it do so hereafter in 
view of late occurrences ? Recent outrages have been perpetrated 
aptly for the purposes of governments who are adopting active 
measures to turn elsewhere these living streams of population. British 
naturalization laws are changed in favor of the emigrant to the Can- 
adas. Continental governments, under pretext of protecting the 
health of their subjects, impose vexatious and embarrassing restraints 
upon our vessels engaged in their transportation. The diminished 
number of emigrants during the past year shows that result. 

Divert immigration from our country, and you strike a deadly blow 
at its prosperity. Why are the farmers in the interior of our States 
able to send the fruits of their toil to foreign markets ? Mainly be- 
cause the cost of their transportation is lessened by immigration. 
When we trace out all its influences, permeating every industrial pur- 
suit, we are amazed at the madness and folly that seeks to divert it 
elsewhere, and ashamed of the bigotry and ignorance which prompts 
the effort. The charges of pauperism and criminality made against 
our foreign citizens are unjust. Their violations of law while they are 
not familiar with our institutions, and when placed under circumstan- 
ces of great and novel temptations, are no more frequent than the com- 
mission of crimes by those of American birth, when removed from the 
conventional restraints of kindred and friends, in California, or on the 
shores of the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Seas. 


The spirit of political meddling with the affairs of others, and with 
the rights of man on account of birth or religion, has naturally given 
birth to a desire to interfere with distinct and distant communities. 
The idea of disfranchising those who go as well as those who come, 
inevitably grows up in the minds of those who wish to control the ac- 
tion of others. Such minds instinctively war against self-government 
by communities as well as by individuals. 

At this time a party powerful in numbers, resources, and talent, in 


opposition to the -warning and entreaties of the patriotic whom the 
American people love and reverence, have entered into the pending 
contest with the determination of arraying one section of our com- 
mon country against another. Its presses constantly urge upon the 
public attention everything of past, present, or fancied occurrence 
which is calculated to excite the prejudices or to arouse the passions 
of the North against the South. This treasonable conduct is called a 
necessary measure of defence against the aggressive power and poli- 
tical influence of the South. 

The charges of territorial acquisitions and of political aggression to 
promote Southern designs, have been made so persistently, that well- 
disposed persons have been misled. I call your attention to the fol- 
lowing facts, gathered from official documents : 

In 1790, the population of the Northern States was 1,908,455 ; and 
of the Southern, 1,961,372. Their numbers were then about equal. 
In 1850, the population of the Northern States was 13,507,194 ; and 
of the Southern, 9,612,810. This great disparity has been increased 
during the last five years. The annual increase of the population of 
the United States, including immigration, is about 900,000. Of the 
natural increase, 570,000 belongs to the North, and 230,000 to the 
South. Of the immigration, assume that 70,000 goes to the South, 
and 230,000 to the North and West, and it will be seen that the an- 
nual increase of the population of the free over the slave States is 
350,000. By 1860, the population of the North will exceed that of 
the South more than seven and a half millions. 

The North owes its superiority in numbers to immigration. It 
was the policy of Mr. Jefferson, a Southern Democrat, in opposition 
to that of Mr. Adams, a Northern Federalist, which brought immi- 
gration to our shores, at a' time when the continuance of alien laws 
would have turned it elsewhere. Southern Democrats knew at that 
time, and have seen ever Bince, that immigration must follow the 
channels of commerce and be carried into the Northern States. They 
have always known that the climate, the pursuits, the institutions of 
these States were most congenial to Europeans. Has any Southern 
administration attempted to check the incoming foreigners because our 
section of the country was most benefited? Have they indulged in 
the meanness of sectional prejudice at the expense of the general 
prosperity of our country ? They had the wisdom to see that the 
general good was promoted by a liberal and humane policy, and they 
did not stop to ask if we were to be particularly benefited. The 
superior political power of the North is due to the policy of Southern 
Democratic administration. And now there are men base enough to 
appeal to the power thus created to array itself against these States 
which sustained Mr. Jefferson and his successors against alien and 
sedition laws, and all other forms of oppressive or proscriptive legis- 
lation. Mark how closely the Republican party studies the census 
returns, and see the ascending and graduated scale of indignation 
keeping its due proportions with the descending scale of the repre- 
sentative power of the South ! Under the census of 1830, men who 
have lately deserted the Democratic party would not consent that 
Congress should hear a petition against slavery in the District of 
Columbia. Under the census of 1840, they became opposed to the 
extension of slavery into any of the Territories.! After 1850 they in- 


sisted no new slave State should be admitted ; and in view of the 
results of the enumerations of 1860, they are filled with a horror of 
slavery, and are preparing for the active interference with the legis- 
lation of sovereign States. More judicious courage has never been 
shown. Like that of Falstaff, it first displays itself when the battle 
is over. 

Look at the results of territorial acquisitions. At the establishment 
of our government we had no lands west of the Mississippi. By the 
purchase of Florida, and the acquisition of Texas, New Mexico, 
and California, we have increased our country's area threefold, and 
extended it to the Pacific. The purchase of, Florida was more for 
■ the advantage of Northern commerce than Southern interest. A 
large portion is uninhabitable, and its population is less than that of 
some of our interior counties. With Cuba, it gave to Spain complete 
control of Northern commerce with the Gulf of Mexico ; hence the 
necessity for its acquisition. The purchase of Louisiana was made 
for the purpose of giving to the Western and Northern States an 
open channel to the ocean for their productions. The Southern 
States did not need this ; they bordered upon the Atlantic and Gulf 
of Mexico. It also gave to the North an immense region, exceeding 
in extent the original thirteen States, lying between the Mississippi 
River and the Pacific Ocean ; a country watered by the upper Mis- 
souri and Columbia rivers and their tributaries, with the advan- 
tages of some of the best harbors in the world on the Pacific coast. 
This purchase was . made by a Southern administration. This vast 
region is soon to be filled with an active and enterprising population. 
A computation will show that two-thirds of the extent, and a vastly 
greater proportion of the value, of the territories acquired by the 
United States, have become or will become free States. 

The following statement, extracted from the .able speech of Senator 
Clay, of Alabama, shows the results of Territorial acquisition in a clear 
and strong light : 

"At the conclusion of peace, 1783, the States then north of Mason 
and Dixon's line had 164,081 square miles. The States then south of 
that line had 674,202 square miles. 

".Pending the Revolution, the north-western territory excited (as 
Mr. Madison expressed it) "the lucrative desire" of the north-eastern 
people to a degree threatening the existence of the confederacy. 
The territory belonged to Virginia, by repeated royal grants, as well 
as by conquest achieved at her sole expense and by her unaided arms. 
To satisfy those desires, quiet the contest, and secure harmony and 
peace, she surrendered it to the confederacy, and the ordinance of '87 
devoted it to free soil. That surrender reduced southern territory 
nearly threefold. Northern territory was thereby swelled to 425,761 
square miles, and southern territory reduced to 385,521 square miles. 
The territory of Louisiana, next acquired, in which slavery was main- 
tained by both French and Spanish laws, and guaranteed in the treaty 
of acquisition, was^ by the Missouri restriction, so divided that the 
North took (exclusive of Oregon) 659,138 square miles, and the South 
retained 225,456 square miles. By that settlement the South surren- 
dered of slaveholding territory to the North about three-fourths, and 
retained about one-fourth. But, including Oregon as a part of the 
Louisiana purchase, the North took 972,605 square miles, and the 


South retained 225,496 square miles. Thereby the South surrendered 
more than four-fifths, and retained but one-fifth of that territory. 

" The acquisition of Oregon (if not included in the Louisiana pur- 
chase), Florida, and Texas, resulted in a division, by which the North 
got about 415,467 square miles, and the South retained about 271,268 
square miles. By that arrangement the North obtained about three- 
fifths of those territories. 

" The Mexican conquests, engrossed by the North, added to her 
limits about 401,838 square miles. The South has grown from 647,- 
202 to 882,245 square miles, having added but ^35,047 square miles 
to her area since 1783. In the same time the North, from 164,081, 
has grown to 1,903,204 square miles ; having added in the same time 
1,738,123 square miles to her limits. The South has increased less 
than fifty per cent, the North near 1100 per cent, in territorial area 
since the revolution. The South commenced with four times the ter- 
ritory of the North ; the North has now nearly two and a half times 
the territory of the South. The federal government never had one 
foot of territory east of the Rocky Mountains that was free soil when 
acquired. And, indeed, I question whether she ever held any west of 
them that was free soil. The Northern States never ceded one foot 
of territory to the United States ; and never yielded one foot of ter- 
ritory that was free soil when acquired, to the use of the South, but 
have retained it all. 

"The South has ceded, of her own exclusive territory, 251,671 
square miles, and has relinquished of other slaveholding territory 
when acquired, belonging in common to all the States, 972,605 square 
miles, and of slaveholding and non-slaveholding territory in all, not 
less than 1,738,123 square miles — an empire elevenfold greater than 
the entire area of the Northern States at the peace of '83, and more 
than double the entire domain of the States of the confederation. 

The political power of the country has passed into the control of 
the free States, and that power is increasing with startling rapidity. 
The preservation of the Union now depends upon the wisdom and 
patriotism of the North. Yet, at this time, the Republican party 
appeals to Northern passions and prejudices. It attempts to array 
the majority against the minority ; it tells the majority that it is base 
and bold to denounce and revile the minority ; it stigmatizes those 
as cowardly and base who stand upon Northern soil to speak for our 
whole country. It will now be seen if the North will use its power 
fairly. If it does not, the South has the ability, and I hope the spirit, 
to resist injustice. If it does not do so, it will be untrue to itself, to 
us, and to the whole country. 


But a particular complaint is made. It is said the Nebraska bill is 
an outrage which must be resisted, and that great wrongs are done 
under its provisions. Let us look into this. The principle of the 
bill, and the manner in which it is enforced, are two distinct things. 
"We will examine them separately. 

Those who are trying to form a sectional party, found their hopes 
upon differences of opinion among Democrats with regard to terri- 


torial questions, and they expect to draw some into their organiza- 
tion who differ from them in ninety-nine points because they 
may possibly agree upon one. It is true that the repeal of the Mis- 
souri Compromise was condemned by many, regretted by others, 
and approved by a third class. Many deemed its "repeal as a great 
wrong ; others regretted it as inexpedient ; others again believed 
that the only way to dispose of agitating questions, dangerous to the 
peace of our country, was to leave them to the disposal of the com- 
munities particularly concerned. I believe there are few who wish 
for the restoration of the Missouri Compromise. It has been the 
singular fortune of this act of Congress to have been denounced at 
the North and the South at the time of its adoption ; to have been 
generally condemned during the period of its existence, and to have 
created a political convulsion by its repeal. 

There are two tribunals to which territorial questions may be 
referred — the General Government and the people of the Territories. 
Many at the North and at the South hold that the General Govern- 
ment has jurisdiction, and is bound to exercise it ; that it is a duty 
which cannot be avoided. Those at the South contend that they have 
a right to go into the Territories with slavery, and that Congress 
should pass laws for its protection ; while those at the North urge 
that it should forbid its introduction. While these two classes agree 
upon the tribunal, they have also been alike dissatisfied with its 
action. Other Democrats prefer a reference to the popular tribunal. 
They believe it to be most in accordance with, the genius and spirit 
of our institutions. They believe its decisions will be honest, intelli- 
gent, and wise, for they will be made by those deeply interested in a 
right result — by those who know best their own wants and condition, 
and by those who can be influenced by no considerations save those 
which will advance the welfare of the society in which are involved 
their hopes and their fortunes. They think the inhabitants of the 
Territories are better judges of their own wants, with deeper interests 
in good government for themselves, than those a thousand miles 
away, legislating under the influences of passion and prejudice, 
plunder and pleasure; that the exercise of jurisdiction by the Gen- 
eral Government may carry with it, by implication, other and danger- 
ous powers. I agree with those who prefer territorial tribunals. 
The policy of local self-government has been adopted, and I believe 
there is a disposition on the part of all classes of Democrats to have 
it fairly tested ; and it is demanded with justice that there should be 
no interference with its action from any quarter. 

The people who go into remote Territories and encounter the 
hardships of frontier life, shall lose none of their political rights by 
doing so. Why should they lose them ? Why will you withhold, 
from them rights you demand for yourselves ? They were capable 
of self-government before they left this and other States. Why not 
now ? There is not a town nor a county in the State which will not 
resist to the last any interference by an adjoining town or county. 
Why, then, will you meddle a thousand miles away with affairs about 
which you are ignorant? Has not your neighbor, who has gone to 
the Territory, staked his fortune upon its good government ? Does 
he not know his own interests? Do you pretend to understand 
them ? If the settlers in Kansas should attempt to interfere with 


your local government, would you not laugh at their folly ? Is your 
folly less when you interfere with them ? Some say, let the General 
Government dictate local laws to the inhabitants of the Territories. 
Will you let the General Government dictate local laws to you? It 
will be found that this bill only contains those principles of American 
freedom which cannot be assailed without attacking our own rights. 

The people of the North are uniformly opposed to slavery, not 
from hostility to the South, but because it is repugnant to our senti- 
ments. In conformity with our views, we have abolished slavery 
here ; and having exercised our rights in our own way, we should be 
willing to let other communities have the same rights and privileges 
we have enjoyed. We are bound to act upon our faith in the princi- 
ples of self-government. 

It is gratifying to us that this policy will produce the results 
which we believe will best promote the prosperity of the Ter- 
ritories. The laws of emigration and settlement in our country are 
as known and as determinable as arithmetical propositions. Emi- 
grants go from States which are most populous. They go from dearer 
to cheaper lands. The census of 1S50 show's that the population of 
the North exceeds that of the South 4,000,000. Its annual excess of 
increase is 350,000. Its population to the square mile is double, and 
the value of its real estate, by the acre, is about threefold that of the 
South. The unoccupied land in the free States is dearer, and in the 
slave States cheaper, than in the Territories. In the slave States bor- 
dering on the Territories, the public lands, under the graduation laws, 
can be bought for lower prices than in the Territories. Most of these 
lands thus held at reduced rates, are of the best' quality. The popu- 
lation of Missouri, with an area greater than that of the six New 
England States, is less than 700,000, and its rates of increase far 
below that of Iowa or Wisconsin. The number in Arkansas and 
Texas is still less on each square mile. No one can look at these facts 
and not be satisfied what the result will be. The annual excess of the 
population of the North over that of the South, will each year give 
three times the population required to entitle a State to admission 
into the Union ; while the South, under the influence of climates, 
productions, and institutions, is imperfectly settled, and its smaller 
numbers are but thinly scattered over its extended territories. 

But it is charged that the doctrine of self-government is not car- 
ried out in Kansas. If it is not, let us all unite and see that it is 
fairly enforced. There need be no difference among us upon that 
point. But I warn you against false reports. We have had more 
rumors of war, and accounts of the movements of armed men in 
Kansas Territory, than attended the war in the Crimea, where one 
hundred thousand lives were sacrificed. Two classes of agitators 
have concurred in their efforts to create these false views. One at 
the North, to produce the impression that a sectional partv must be 
formed to resist the South ; while certain candidates for office in Mis- 
souri wish to magnify their services to the South. The violent and 
inflammatory articles of the journals of both classes designed to stir 
up violence and passion* are republished with obvious satisfaction, 
and thus the most offensive sentiments are constantly kept before the 
different communities they wish to agitate and excite. 

There have been impertinent interferences in some quarters and 


truculent outrages in others. But it is evidently unjust that the con- 
duct of citizens of old States should be offered as evidence that the 
people of the Territories are incapable of self-government. The 
political struggles in Kansas heretofore have had reference mainly to 
the power of building up towns by establishing the sites of the capital 
and county seats. Those who are anxious on the question of slavery 
would be somewhat surprised by a close and local inquiry into the 
views and purposes of parties in Kansas. It may be said the numbers 
which have already gone into Kansas from Missouri show that its 
citizens will monopolize this Territory. Hitherto, emigration there 
has been controlled by a desire to secure town lots. When agricul- 
tural emigration commences, it will be governed by rules which pre- 
vail elsewhere. But few have gone from Missouri or other States to 
get farms — most expect to get cities. The true pioneers will soon 
make their appearance ; the men who till the soil and subdue the 
earth — men of strong arms and clear heads — who know how to 
govern themselves, and who will direct their own affairs. Let not all 
our virtuous indignation be poured out upon border life. When you 
go among the sturdy men who, in advance of improvements, have 
chopped, and hoed, and ploughed their way almost across this 
continent, you will find they have generous and noble qualities. Let 
us not exhaust all our horror of unlawful acts upon those who are in 
a measure unprotected by laws, and be forgetful of what occurs in 
our own or neighboring States. More blood was spilled in a late 
political canvass than in any or all of the elections in the Territories. 
In old States there are none of the palliations which grow out of the 
condition o,f the border life. Who does not feel that at this time the 
rights of conscience are safer in Kansas than in States which hereto- 
fore boasted of their civilization, refinement, and good order ? 

To those who know the wants and conditions of a new country, 
there is something ludicrous in the fierce air of the emigrant from 
the East, who grasps his rifle with deadly intent, and carries it with 
its necessary ammunition to his great discomfort, the hazard of his 
wife and children, in his jourtiey to the far West. In three months 
he will sell his deadly weapon to his Missouri neighbor, who is aiding 
him through the horrors of the fever and ague. 

There are strong proofs that the excitements about Kansas are made 
to order. An undue importance is attached to proceedings in that 
Territory. The impression is created that it will influence, in a great 
degree, the balance of power between the States. Oregon, Wash- 
ington, and Minnesota Territories will all of them make free States. 
They are entitled to admission, whenever they make application, by 
virtue of their population and their older organization. Nebraska 
contains more people than Kansas. If confidence can be placed in 
the report of the Congressional Committee in regard to the territorial 
election?:, the number of votes do not indicate 20,000 people. Slaves 
will not be taken there, for they are moving now from the cheaper 
and more desirable lands of the State lying in the same latitude, to 
the more profitable labor of the extreme south. Kansas was selected 
as the scene for agitation out of all the Territories organized under 
the same laws, because its geographical position made it most favor- 
able for the purpose. Other Territories were let alone, and have 
flourished under the principle of non-intervention. But from the 


outset, Kansas was selected as the scene of excitement by political 
meddlers. . Its present condition proves the wisdom of the let-alone 
policy of the Democratic party. From the first, the most exciting 
addresses have been made by credulous clergymen, the most embit- 
tered statements put forth by influential papers, and the most foul- 
mouthed speeches have disgraced the national Capitol with regard to 
it. When these appliances have produced the natural results of bit- 
terness, hatred, and bloodshed, the authors of evils hold them up as 
proofs that the best principles of government are wrong because 
political meddlers have for the time defeated their benign influence. 
The men who preach and practise meddling in morals, religion, and 
local legislation, are responsible for the wrongs in Kansas ; not those 
who always oppose interference. Neither Missouri nor Massachusetts 
have learned pragmatical doctrines from the Democratic party. 

The Republican organization proposes an assault upon the Southern 
States by a system of agitation and excitement, directly at war with 
the purposes of the Constitution. They constantly discuss questions 
belonging to other States, to the entire neglect of their own local 
affairs. They organize their party expressly on the ground that all 
and every difference of opinion about their own concerns are to be 
overlooked, provided they agree in their views about an institution 
which does not exist in their own States, and does exist in States 
where they admit they have no constitutional right to interfere. 
They give dispensation for all past offences. Enrolment in their 
ranks expiates the most deadly heresies in doctrines and conduct, and 
exempts from the performance of all acts of charity, mercy, or be- 
nevolence. The Union, among its members, is a libel upon their past 
professions and actions. They mock at consistency. TJiey ask the 
foreign-born citizen to unite with them in interfering with men afar 
off, and thus justify interference with their own religious and politi- 
cal rights at home. They invite the opponent of the Maine law to 
unite with them to coerce those who live west of the Missouri, and 
thus justify coercion by their own neighbors. The pretext for this 
evasion of the Constitution, is the affairs of a single Territory. The 
discussion, the appeals to passion, and the influences of their actions, 
are not confined to that point ; nor can they stop at that point, if 
they succeed in their present efforts. They must go to the extent of 
interfering with the sovereignties of the State. Their out-spoken 
allies, the Abolitionists, declare that such are their intentions. The 
pretext for the war now waged against the South, is an alleged inva- 
sive policy on its part. Conscious of the wickedness of a sectional 
warfare, an attempt is made to show that their policy is defensive. 


To charge upon the advocates of the let-alone policy the fruits of 
meddling, and thus attempt to justify interferences, is no new device. 
Tyrants always denounce liberty as anarchy; freedom of conscience 
as infidelity ; reliance upon education and intelligence as immorality 
and disorder ; and to the extent of their power they take care that 
all possible evils attend every effort to emancipate mind, action, or 
conscience. This is the character of the warfare waged upon the 
Democratic party. He who upholds the principle of interference, is 


responsible for interference. He who stands by the principle of local 
self-government, is not responsible for acts against which foe protests 
in principle and. practice. Every man knows that peace and good 
order will not be restored to this land while the press and political 
agitators urge sectional hatred and interference with local affairs. 

The evils of political meddling with morals, religion, and the rights 
of distinct communities, are not only of a public nature, but they affect 
individual character. It causes the pharisaic spirit which is preva- 
lent in our country. It creates false standards of virtue. It misleads 
men in their estimates of themselves. How many men, harsh and 
hard in their dealings with their fellow-citizens, fancy themselves bene- 
volent because they cherish a hatred of real or fancied wrong in remote 
parts of our country ? How many who omit the charities and kind- 
ness of daily life, who forget to aid the poor in the next street, quiet 
their consciences by denunciations of those whom they charge with 
being wrong-doers a thousand miles away? How many bad men 
gain influence and power at home by occupying the public mind with 
alleged wrongs abroad ? How many arrogate to themselves an ex- 
clusive Christianity because they reverse every principle of its teach- 
ings in their sentiments towards their fellow-men? How many have 
given rifles for Kansas, who would not give aid to their suffering 
neighbors? The present practice of stirring up popular passions, 
threatens to destroy all freedom of opinion, and all individuality of 

The pulpit and the press are becoming unfaithful. They follow in 
the wake of popular excitement. They do not jpoint out nor combat 
the faults of readers or hearers, but administer to their self-complacency 
by fierce denunciations of their distant fellow-citizens. They assume 
the bearing of courage, while acting upon the principles of cowardice. 

Fanaticism gives its subjects no rest. It drives them on from one 
subject of excitement to another, from one hatred to another, from 
one persecution to another. "We know that the political fanatic of 
to-day will be foremost in the religious persecutions of to-morrow. 

The leprosy of hypocrisy is spread over our land,, giving us an out- 
ward whiteness because there is an internal corruption. Religion, 
charity, and morals are hidden by "vindictive piety" and "malignant 
benevolence," at war with every principle of Christianity. Unless 
the good and patriotic rebuke this spirit of cant and fanaticism, the 
sourness and hatred of the "Roundhead" will again, in its reaction, 
be followed by the gross licentiousness of the Cavalier. 

Note by the Editor. 

[Prom 1856 down to the beginning of the war we cannot find that Mr. Seymour 
made any important political address. The speeches he delivered in that time were 
mainly of local importance, and contained nothing to affect in any way the record 
of his public life.] 


Mr. Seymour at the Democratic Convention, Albany, 
January 31, 1861. 

Calamities of Country due to Party in Power — Comparison between Time of 
Washington's Administration and present — Territorial Question the particu- 
lar Subject of Controversy — How the Question was treated in past Times 
— Differences between North and South — How the "War should be con- 
ducted — Quotation from John Quincy Adams— Necessity of a Compro- 
mise — Propriety of a Compromise — Treatment of Seceded and Border 
States — How the Missouri Compromise was made — Objects of the Con- 
vention — Pears of National Calamity. 

It has been truly said by the President of this Convention that we 
do not meet for partisan purposes, although we are assembled in pur- 
suance of a call issued by a political organization. There was no 
other mode by which we could act as a representative body. The 
people of the State are divided into two great parties, one of which 
gave at the late Presidential contest more than three hundred and 
fifty thousand, and the other more than three hundred and ten thou- 
sand votes for their respective candidates. "We have waited with 
patient expectation for some effort on the part of the responsible 
majority to avert the calamities which overhang our country. We 
have hailed with joy every indication of a desire on their part to 
meet the duties of their position. "We have given a cordial approval 
to every patriotic expression coming from individuals of that party, 
whether uttered through his Journal by the able Republican leader 
of the State, by the distinguished Senator at Washington, or by a 
patriotic and intelligent member of our Legislature. The hopes ex- 
cited by those expressions have died away. Our country is on the 
verge of ruin, and now, in behalf of the great organization we repre- 
sent and of those who, since the late election, have joined our ranks, 
we meet to confront the dangers which menace us. I believe in pur 
resolutions we shall utter the sentiments of a vast majority of the 
people of New York. We shall rise above political purposes. We 
shall indulge in no reproaches— patriotic purposes in the past must 
be shown by patriotic action now. The acts of this day will throw 
light upon our motives in what we have done, and will influence our 
conduct in the future. 

As I have been placed upon the committee which is to frame reso- 
lutions for your consideration, I wish to state my views of the policy 
which should guide us and the sentiments we should put forth to the 

Three score and ten years, the period allotted for the life of man, 
have rolled away since George Washington was inaugurated first 
President of the United States, in the city of New York. We were 
then among the feeblest people of the earth. The flag of Great 
Britain still waved over Oswego with insulting defiance of our national 
rights, and the treaty recognizing our independence. The powers of 
the world regarded us with indifference, or treated us with contempt- 
uous injustice. So swift has been our progress under the influence 
of our Union, that but yesterday we could defy the world in arms, 
and none dared insult our flag. When our Constitution was inaugu- 

ALBANY, JANUARY 31, 1861. 23 

rated, the utmost enthusiasm pervaded our land. Stern warriors who 
had fought the battles of the Revolution wept for joy. Glad proces- 
sions of men and women marched with triumphal pride along the 
streets of our cities ; holy men of God prayed in His temples that 
the spirit ot fraternal love, which had shaped the compromises of the 
Constitution, might never fade away, and that sectional bigotry, hate, 
and discord might never curse our land. Amid this wild enthusiasm 
there was no imagination so excited, no piety with faith so strong, 
that it foresaw the full influence of the event then celebrated. Some 
yet live to see our numbers increased from four to thirty millions ; 
our territories quadrupled and extended from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific ; our power and progress the wonder of the world. Alas ! sir, 
they also live to see the patriotism and fraternal love which have 
wrought out these marvellous results die out, and the mighty fabric 
of our Government about to crumble and fall, because the virtues 
which reared and upheld it have departed from our councils. 

What spectacle do we present to-day ? Already six States have 
withdrawn from this confederacy. Revolution lias actually begun. 
The term " secession" divests it of none of its terrors ; nor do argu- 
ments to prove secession inconsistent with our Constitution stay its 
progress, or mitigate its evils. All virtue, patriotism, and intelligence 
seem to have fled from our national Capitol ; it has been well likened 
to the conflagration of an asylum for madmen — some look on with 
idiotic imbecility, some in sullen silence, and some scatter the fire- 
brands which consume the fabric above them, and bring upon all a 
common destruction. Is there one revolting aspect in this scene 
which has not its parallel at the Capitol of your country ? Do you 
not see there the senseless imbecility, the garrulous idiocy, the mad- 
dened rage displayed with regard to petty personal passions and 
party purposes ; while the glory, the honor, and the safety of the 
country are all forgotten ! The same pervading fanaticism has brought 
evil upon all the institutions of our land. Our churches are torn 
asunder and desecrated to partisan purposes. The wrongs of our local 
legislation, the growing burdens of debt and taxation, the gradual 
destruction of the African in the free States, which is marked by 
each recurring census, are all due to the neglect of our own duties, 
caused by the complete absorption of the public mind by a senseless, 
unreasoning fanaticism. The agitation of the question of slavery 
has thus far brought greater social, moral, and legislative evils upon 
the people of the free States than it has upon the institutions of those 
against whom it has been excited. The wisdom of Franklin stamped 
upon the first coin issued by our Government the wise motto, " Mind 
your business ! " The violation of the homely proverb which lies at 
the foundation of the doctrines of local rights, has, thus far, proved 
more hurtful to the meddlers in the affairs of others than to those 
against whom this pragmatic action is directed. 

The particular subject of controversy at this moment is the terri- 
torial question. When our Constitution was framed, our government 
embraced an area of 820,680 square miles. Since that time it has 
been expanded by different acquisitions to the vast extent of 2,936,165 
square miles. This expansion was not contemplated by the framers 
of our Constitution ; and Mr. Jefferson declared, at the time of the 
Louisiana purchase, that it should be made the subject of a constitu- 


tional amendment. This wise suggestion was unheeded, and we have 
attempted to govern our different acquisitions by principles inferred 
from a constitution which did not contemplate such exigencies. It is^ 
not surprising, therefore, that the opinions of men and the policy of 
government have been unsettled and conflicting. 

Thus far, the North has had greatly the advantage in the division 
of these acquisitions, and the political power which emanates from 
the creation of States made from their limits. Five free and five 
slave States have been erected from Territories gained since the adop- 
tion of our Constitution. The free States have the whole of the Pa- 
cific coast ; and the largest of value and extent in the remaining Terri- 
tories lie north of a line which bounds the region where slavery can 
be employed, and lie, too, upon the pathway of European and North- 
ern immigration. Our acquisitions since HIS have extended the 
Southern States and Territories to 882,245 square miles, while the 
North has expanded to 1,204,204 square miles. Assuming that the 
North-western Territory belonged to Virginia, and deducting that from 
the area of the South, it will be found that the South has increased 
less than fifty per cent, and the North nearly 1100 per cent in extent, 
since the Revolution. The South has relinquished to the North 251,- 
671 square miles, constituting the present States of Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The North has never relinquished 
one foot of the original territory ; and in the division of that which 
has been acquired, it has succeeded in gaining the largest proportion. 

This controversy does not grow out of a claim by either party that 
the Constitution shall be changed, but with regard to the construction 
that should be given to that instrument. The South claim that they 
have a right to take their slaves into all the Territories, by virtue of 
the constitutional compact, as construed by the Supreme Court, and 
because slavery originally existed in them, with the exception of 
those gained from Mexico. They deny that slavery was abolished 
when they were added to our Union, and they deny the power of 
Congress to legislate against those rights of property which were 
recognized in our whole country at the time of the Revolution, and 
which were upheld by the laws of every State, save one, when the 
Constitution was formed. 

The South does not ask to extend slavery. They say it exists in 
the Territories. The Republicans assert that slavery shall not be ex- 
tended. They contend that it does not exist in the Territories ; but 
not content with leaving this question to the decision of the appointed 
tribunals, they demand legislation in the form of provisos or declara- 
tions in the nature of that contained in the ordinance regarding the 
North-west, which assume the existence of slavery in the disputed 
regions, in the absence of positive prohibitions. They show a dis- 
trust in their own constitutional constructions and historical state- 
ments, by demanding congressional interferences and restraints ; and 
under the cry of " No Extension ! " they are in fact agitating for re- 
peal and restrictions which are of no significance unless slavery has 
the legal existence which they deny. 

Our fathers disposed of the same or similar difficulties, by compro- 
mises. Adjustments have been made from time to time in the prog- 
ress of our Government. The condition of our affairs forces upon 
us the alternative of compromise or civil war. Let us contemplate the 

ALBANY, JANUARY 31, 1861. 25 

latter alternative. We are advised by the conservative States of 
Virginia and Kentucky that if force is to be used, it must be exerted 
against the united South. It would be an act of folly and madness, 
in entering upon this contest, to underrate our opponents, and thus 
subject ourselves to the disgrace of defeat in an inglorious warfare. 
Let us also see if successful coercion by the North is less revolution- 
ary than successful secession by the South. Shall we prevent revolu- 
tion by being foremost in overthrowing the principles of our Govern- 
ment, and all that makes it valuable to our people, and distinguishes 
it among the nations of the earth ? Upon whom are we to wage 
war? Our own countrymen, whose white population is threefold 
that of the whole country in the time of the Revolution. Their 
courage has never been questioned in any contest in which we have been 
engaged. They battled by our side with equal valor in the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, in the last war with Great Britain, and in the Mexi- 
can conflict. Virginia sent her sons, under the command of Wash- 
ington, to the relief of beleaguered Boston. Alone, the South defeat- 
ed the last and most desperate effort of British power to divide our 
country, at the battle of New Orleans. From the days of Washing- 
ton till this time, they have furnished their full proportion of soldiers 
for the field, of statesmen for the cabinet, and of wise and patriotic 
senators for our legislative halls. 

It is only bigoted ignorance that denies the equality of their public 
men to those of the North. To assume that our brethren in fifteen 
States lack the capacity to understand, and the ability to protect their 
own interests, is to assume that our Government is a failure, and 
ought to be overturned. It is to declare that nearly one-half of our 
people are incapable of self-government. They have a vast extent 
of fertile land, producing not only the cotton, rice, and sugar cultivat- 
ed in the United States, but a great abundance of the cereals and of 
animal food. The census of 1850 shows that they produce more than 
one-half of the Indian-corn and of the live stock raised in the United 
States ; and that they also manufactured one-sixth of the cotton cloth, 
one-quarter of the raw and one-sixth of the wrought iron made in 
our country. In addition, they have a vast abundance of coal, iron, 
copper, and lead, and every element of wealth and strength. They 
have availed themselves of these advantages to an extent far exceed- 
ing what is understood by the people of the North. 

I beg those who have been misled by constant and designed mis- 
representation, to study the statistics of our country, and they will see 
how grossly they have been deceived. A war upon them would lead 
to still greater development of their industry in competition with our 
own, as the late war with Great Britain made the United States her 
most formidable competitor in manufacturing and in the arts. 
When we compare our local legislation with theirs, we have reason 
to blush. The united debts of the slave States, excepting Virginia 
and Missouri, are not equal to that of Pennsylvania, and their taxation 
is less than that imposed upon the people of the State of New York ; 
and yet they have an extended and effective system of internal im- 
provement, while they have avoided the ruinous competition growing 
out of an undue number of railroads, &c. 

In what way is this warfare to be conducted? None have been 
mad enough to propose to muster armies to occupy their territory. 


Great Britain tried that in the Revolution, when the population of 
the South was less than 2,000,000. She attempted invasion again in 
the late war, when their numbers were less than 3,500,000. Nay 
more, while she armed Indian savages to carry murder and rapine 
into the home of the North, she attempted to excite a servile insurrec- 
tion in the South. For this we cursed her brutal inhumanity. Her 
own indignant statesmen expressed their abhorrence on the floor of 
Parliament ; and yet, at this day, those who quote British journals to 
influence American opinions, have intimated that there might be a 
gratification of their hate in the burning homes of murdered families 
of their own countrymen, or by cutting the enbankments of the Missis 
sippi and submerging their land. 

Bat some have suggested with complacent air that the South could 
be easily subjugated by blockading their ports with a few ships of 
war. Let these gentlemen study the geography of our country. 
While the Atlantic coast-line of the Northern States is 851 miles, 
that of the South, including the Gulf of Mexico, is 3,076. We have 
189, and they have 249 harbors. Great Britain, with her immense 
fleet, attempted blockade, and failed. But, assuming the success of 
this measure, who are to be the sufferers ? Are we waging war upon 
the South or upon the North ? Upon the Southern planter, or upon 
the Northern merchant, manufacturer, and mechanic ? This coasting 
trade is the chief support of Northern commerce — the prize which 
Great Britain struggled so long and so persistently to gain. Not only 
do our ships carry the products of the South, but at this time our 
manufacturers annually consume of their cotton to the amount of more 
than $40,000,000. In the hands of Northern carriers and artisans, 
this becomes worth more than $150,000,000. The whole price for 
the cotton crop received from all the world (about $200,000,000 each 
year), is paid out to the labor and industry of the North. We can in- 
flict great misery upon the South ; but could human ingenuity devise 
a warfare more destructive to all the interests of the Northern States 
of this confederacy? But, say our Republican friends, these evils 
may be averted by our internal channels. If we thus evade the block- 
ade of the South, to what end is all it cost brought on us ? Is it an 
object to disturb the course of trade, in order to ruin Northern sea- 
men and merchants and cities ? 

But let us leave these pecuniary considerations for others more 
weighty with every patriot. Upon what field shall this contest be 
waged ? Upon what spot shall Americans shed American blood ? 
Where, on this broad continent, shall we find the arena where every 
association and memory of the past will not forbid this fratricidal con- 
test ? Or, when unnatural war shall have brought upon our people 
its ruin, and upon our nation its shame, to what ground shall we be 
brought at last ? To that we should have accepted at the outset. 

The question is simply this : Shall we have compromise after the 
war, or compromise without war ? Shall we be aided in this settle- 
ment by the loss of national honor, the destruction of individual in- 
terest, the shedding of blood, and by carrying misery and mourning 
into the homes of our people ? Mr. President, the honor of the North 
the parties to the controversy, and the object in dispute, demand a 
comprpmise of this difficulty. I say the honor of the North demands a 
conciliatory policy. When our Constitution was formed there was but 

ALBANY, JANUARY 31, 1861. 27 

one free State. To-day there are 19 free and 15 slave States. Then 
there were but two senators from the free States ; now we have a ma- 
jority of eight in the Senate, and this will soon be increased. Then 
there were but eight representatives from the free States ; under the 
census of 1860 we will have the proportion of 151 members to 75. 
Then our population was about equally divided between the North- 
ern and Southern States (the North 1,968,455, the South 1,961,372) ; 
to-day we number more than 18,000,000, they about 12,000,000. 

These results are due not alone to natural causes, but to the policy 
that favored the commercial interest and immigration from other 
lands. This policy has ever been upheld loyally by the South, and 
history tells you by whom it was opposed. Would it not be base and 
cowardly to withhold at this day those courtesies and that considera- 
tion which we showed in the days of their comparative strength ? 
Did not one of our distinguished senators then declare that comity 
demanded that we should permit them to travel through our State 
with their slaves, and that therefore he was opposed to the repeal of 
the law which allowed them to remain here for a period of nine 
months ; and did not his colleague, then a member of the House of 
Representatives, vote against allowing a petition for the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia to be read or referred ? Were 
bills designed to embarrass the exercise of their rights to reclaim fugi- 
tives then found upon the .statute-books of the Northern States? 
By the increase of our population, under the adjustment of the Con- 
stitution, the power and control of the destinies of our country are 
placed in the bands of the North. Does not every sentiment of pa- 
triotism and of honesty demand that we shall exercise this power in 
a spirit of conciliation and forbearance ? And is it not a just cause 
for alarm to our Southern brethren to find men and journals who 
stood by them in the past, now becoming their most bitter and un- 
scrupulous assailants, when their political power is weakened ? 

It grows out of the acquisition of Territories not contemplated by 
the Constitution — out of an expansion of our territory from 820,680 
to 2,936,166 square miles. In the progress of our country this has 
given rise to conflicting views, and our leading statesmen have at dif- 
ferent times held inconsistent opinions. Mr. Calhoun at one time 
decided, while a member of the cabinet, that Congress had the 
power of legislating upon territorial questions. At a later day he 
took the opposite ground. John Quincy Adams, who opposed the 
admission of Missouri as a slave State in 1836, on the occasion of the 
admission of Arkansas used the following language : 
_ " Mk. Chairman — I cannot consistently with my sense of my obliga- 
tions as a citizen of the United States, and bound by oath to support 
their Constitution, I cannot object to the admission of Arkansas into 
the Union as a slave State; I cannot propose or agree to make it a 
condition of her admission that a Convention of her people shall e#- 
punge this article from her Constitution. She is entitled to admission 
as a slave State as Louisiana and Mississippi, and Alabama and Mis- 
souri, have been admitted, by virtue of that article in the treaty for 
the acquisition of Louisiana, which secures to the inhabitants of the 
ceded Territories all the rights, privileges, and immunities of the ori- 
ginal citizens of the United States, and stipulates for their admission, 
conformably to that principle, into the Union. Louisiana was pur- 


chased as a country wherein slavery was the established law of the 
land. As Congress have not power in time of peace to abolish 
slavery in the original States of the Union, they are equally destitute 
of the power in those parts of the territory ceded by France to the 
United States by the name of Louisiana, where slavery existed at the 
acquisition. Slavery is, in the Union, the subject of internal legisla- 
tion in the States, and in peace is cognizable by Congress only, as it 
is tacitly tolerated and protected where it exists by the Constitution 
of the United States, and as it mingles in their intercourse with other 
nations. Arkansas, therefore, comes, and has the right to come, into 
the Union with her slaves and her slave laws. It is written in the 
bond, and however I may lament that it ever was so written, I must 
faithfully perform its obligations." 

The region acquired by the Louisiana purchase, extending from the 
Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian line, and, on its northern limit, 1 
reaching from the Mississippi to the Pacific, comprehends most that 
is valuable and important of the remaining Territories. Citizens of 
the South hold as confidently and as sincerely that they are entitled 
to carry their slaves into this region, as does the Republican that they 
have no such right. We have had, heretofore, similar questions of 
jurisdiction between our own and foreign governments. When Great 
Britain seized, in the northeast, a portion of our country which we 
held by the sacred title gained by the blood and sufferings of the Re- 
volution, every American believed it was an unjust invasion ; but we 
adjusted the difficulty by a new boundary. Again, when she made 
a claim on a part of the same Louisiana purchase on the north-west 
coast, we denied its justice, but yielded up to the jurisdiction of 
the crown 167,365 square miles of the most valuable part of the 
Pacific coast, including its finest harbors and greatest commercial fa- 
cilities. We gave up an area greater than New England, New York, 
Pennsylvania, and New Jersey combined. Shall we yield to a foreign 
nation and to a system of government condemned by our Constitution, 
what we will not concede to our own countrymen ? Shall we, for 
the sake of peace, subject vast regions to principles of government 
antagonistic to our own, and then destroy our Union by refusing a 
compromise which would give to the South the occupation of a less 
valuable territory, in consideration of their giving up what they believe 
to be their constitutional right to occupy the whole? Is there any 
reason why we should be less conciliatory now than we have been 
heretofore; and are there not obvious ones why we should be more so, 
in view of our relative power ? Did the men who now raise the cry 
of no compromise and no concession, hold that language when we had 
a controversy with the crown of Great Britain ? 

Let us look at the objections which are urged to this policy. It is 
said this question was decided at the late election. Questions of con- 
stitutional law are not to be decided by elections ; if they were, our 
Constitution would be worthless, and all its guarantees of the rights 
of States and of individuals, of rights of conscience and religious liberty, 
might be annihilated. Neither is it true that the late canvass shows 
that the popular will is opposed to compromise. Mr. Lincoln was • 
made President by a constitutional vote, and is entitled to our loyal 
and cheerful support, and he shall have it ; but this is not the only 
result of the late contest. 

ALBANY, JANUARY 31, 1861. 29 

If two millions of voters declared themselves in favor of the prin- 
ciples put forth by his party, three millions declared themselves 
opposed to them ; if the Republicans triumphed in the choice of the Ex- 
ecutive, we triumphed in gaining Congress, which makes the laws he is 
bound to carry out, without regard to his own views. If all parties will 
yield to the results of the last election, and the President elect will 
declare that he will be governed by the will of the people and not by 
the will of a party, and that he will not exert the influence of his place 
to defeat measures of compromise, peace will be restored to our land. 
I hold that those who point to the Chicago platform, and not to the 
Constitution, as the guide of his conduct, do him a base wrong. I 
know that there are some that treat him as a man with manacles upon 
his hands; who boast that they hold in the Chicago platform a 
chattel mortgage upon his conscience and his opinion. All honest 
men declare if he allows his declarations put forth in the heat of a 
political contest to control his actions against his own judgment, he 
will deserve impeachment and degradation from his high office. I 
repel, for one, the imputations thus made against Mr. Lincoln, and the 
claims thus impudently put forth to personal and peculiar liens on his 
views, as most injurious to his honor and his influence. Before the 
election, it was said by his friends he was the man best fitted to adjust 
the jarring conflicts of the day. Let him then continue to hold the 
national and dispassionate position which was then claimed for him. We 
invoke the Republicans not to charge that he will be a traitor to his 
country, by making a partisan creed, and not the solemn oath of his 
office, the guide of his conduct. 

It is also said that the honor and dignity of our Government will not 
permit measures of compromise at this moment. "When the present 
difficulty was only threatened, we were told, in answer to our appeals 
for an adjustment, that there was no cause for alarm ; that the South 
could not be driven out of the Union ; the time had not come for com- 
promises. Now, that six States have withdrawn, we are told it is too 
late ; that the dignity of the Government will not permit it to make 
concessions. The error consists in confounding the action of a few 
States with the position of the whole South. We admit that you can- 
not offer constitutional compromises to States that declare themselves 
outside of the pale of the Constitution. But is the attitude of South 
Carolina to be urged against the appeals of patriotic men in Vir- 
ginia? Are we to drive the border States into concert of action 
with those who defy the power of our Government ? Are we to give 
an impulse to revolution by indifference to the appeals of patriotic 
men, and by insulting threats of coercion, and by irritating displays 
of power ? Which cause was helped at the South by the tender of 
arms by our own State — that of Union, or that of Secession ? Al! 
know that the future fate of our country depends npon the action of 
the border States ; and while the beam trembles, New York throws 
its sword into the scale and inclines it in favor of revolution. This 
called from the conservative Governor of Virginia, the declar- 
ation that "nothing that has occurred in the progress of this contro- 
versy has been worse timed and less excusable. If New York de- 
■ sires to preserve the Union, a tender of men and money, under the 
promptings of passion, prejudice, and excitement, will not produce 
this result." 


"We do not ask concessions for men in open resistance to Govern- 
ment, but to those who are struggling for the preservation of our 
Union. Shall we have no sympathy for those upon whom the whole 
weight of this contest falls ? Can we listen, unmoved, to the en- 
treaties of the Governor of Maryland, of the Senator of Kentucky, 
or refuse to second the patriotic efforts of Virginia ? Can we so en- 
tirely forget the past history of our country, that we can stand upon 
the point of pride against States whose citizens battled with our 
fathers and poured out with them their blood upon the soil of our 
State, amid the Highlands of the Hudson, and on the fields of Sara- 
toga? I ask the old men within the sound of my voice, to what 
quarter did you look for sympathy during the last war with Great 
Britain, when New York was assailed upon the shores of Erie and 
Ontario,'and when the disciplined troops who had successfully fought 
against Napoleon in the Peninsula, invaded us with co-operating 
fleets by the channel of Lake Champlain ? Was it not to the States of 
the South ? Is it well that States which then refused to allow their 
militia to pass their own borders to combat a common enemy, should be 
so prompt to tender them now to battle against our own countrymen ? 

But it is urged as a further objection, that at the instance of the 
South we once compromised this territorial question, and that it has 
been untrue to the adjustment, although it was made at its own 
request, and against the wishes of the North. This misstatement has 
been most injurious in its influence upon the public mind. The Gov- 
ernor of New York, in his late message, says this State strenuously 
opposed the establishment of the compromise line of 1820. In this 
he is mistaken ; it was voted for by every Northern senator, and the 
only opposition to this line came from the South. The New York 
senators voted against the admission of Missouri, even after the pas- 
sage of the act establishing the line at 36 degrees 30 minutes. The 
establishment of this line was a Northern measure — every Northern 
man voting for it ; — the whole opposition to it coming from the 
South. It is true that after the amendment was engrafted on the 
bill, many Northern men voted against the act ; but that was opposi- 
tion to the admission of Missouri, and not to the line. The South was 
compelled to accede to it to secure the admission of Missouri, but it 
always held it to be an infringement upon its rights. Even when 
this concession was made to the North, the senators from this and 
other Northern States, whose votes engrafted in the bill what is 
called the compromise line, voted against the act. The South did 
not even gain by this concession the votes of Northern senators, 
except two — one from New Hampshire, and one from Rhode Island. 
Mr. Lincoln admits that this opposition to the admission of Missouri 
was unjustifiable, and that he was in favor of letting new States come 
into this confederacy with or without slavery, as they might elect. 
In offering to take this line, which gives to the North the largest 
share of the most valuable portion of our Territories, it feels that it is 
meeting us more than half way in its efforts for adjustment. 

But it is said that a compromise of this controversy will be a sacri- 
fice of principle to which honest men cannot assent. Then the Con- 
stitution itself cannot be supported by honest men, for it is based 
upon and made up of compromises. It is not proposed to make a 
new Constitution, or to alter the terms of the existing one. All parties 

ALBANY, JANUARY 31, 1861. 31 

at the North and South alike claim that they only demand their pres- 
ent rights under that instrument ; but owing to causes to which I 
have referred, an antagonism springs up in regard to its construction, 
and this must be settled by force or by adjustment. Let us take care 
that we do not mistake passion and prejudice and partisan purposes 
for principle. The cry of " no compromise " is false in morals ; it is 
treason to the spirit of the Constitution ; it is infidelity in religion ; — 
the cross itself is a compromise, and is pleaded by many who refuse 
all charity to their fellow-citizens. It is the vital principle of social 
existence ; it unites the family circle, it sustains the church, and 
upholds nationalities. 

But the Republicans complain that, having won a victory, we ask 
them to surrender its fruits. We do not wish them to give up any 
political advantage. We urge measures which are demanded by the 
honor and the safety of our Union. Can it be that they are less con- 
cerned than we are? Will they admit that they have interests an- 
tagonistic to those of the whole commonwealth ? Are they making 
sacrifices, when they do that which is required by the common wel- 

The objects of this Convention are, to assure the conservative men 
of the South that they have at least the sympathy of 312,000 electors 
of New York in the contest in which they are engaged, and to keep 
the border States in the Union, and thus ultimately restore its 
integrity. But we have another purpose. This is not the time for 
the exhibition of party spirit. We propose to bury party differences ; 
we seek to restore the moral power of New York so that it may now, 
as in times past, be the theatre upon which the cause of our country 
shall triumph. To do this we must have unity of action ; all must 
agree to submit to some tribunal. The present difficulties have 
sprung into existence since the last popular election ; they have taken 
this whole community by surprise, and conflicting views are held 
with regard to the proper line of action. To secure this union of 
purpose, for one, I am in favor of making an appeal to the Republi- 
cans and to the Legislature of this State, to submit the proposition 
of Senator Crittenden to the vote of the people of New York; if it 
is approved, then we will exert ourselves to secure an adjustment upon 
that basis ; if, upon the other hand, it is rejected, then we shall know 
that the people of this State are opposed to the policy of compromise 
and conciliation. I do not fear the result. But if it is, unhappily, 
true that the ultra Republicans represent the people of the State, 
then are the days of the Republic numbered. Then the future is 
dark and uncertain. 

We may have not only one, but many confederacies. Before we 
are involved in the evils and horrors of domestic war, let those upon 
whom it will bring bankruptcy and ruin, and into whose homes it 
may carry desolation and death, be allowed to speak in favor of the 
policy of peace. If the Legislature do not, it will be because they 
dare not let the popular sentiment be uttered. If the public voice is 
heard, all will yield to its decisions, and we shall be united in action. 
In the downfall of our nation, and amidst its crumbling ruins, we will 
cling to the fortunes of New York. We will stand together, and so 
shape the future, that its glory, and greatness, and wonderful advan- 
tages shall not be sacrificed to rival interests. We will loyally follow 


its flag through the gloom and perils of the future, aud in the saddest 
hour there will remain a gleam of hope, and we can still hail with 
pride the motto emblazoned on its shield, Excelsior ! 

Mr. Seymour at the Democratic Ratification Meeting, 
Utica, N. Y., October 28, 1861. 

The War attributable to a neglect of Washington's Injunctions — The Duty 
of Citizens to the Government — Reciprocal Duty of the Government to 
the People — Official Wrongs a Matter for Puture Investigation — The 
Government must be furnished with Means to conduct the War to a 
successful Issue — Beneficial Influence of the Camp — The Soldiers 
qualified to fix the terms of Peace — Valor of the South — Agitators 
condemned — Indissolubility of the Union — Abolition of Slavery impos- 
sible — Protest against Disbanding the Democratic Party — Attack on the 
Union Party Movement. 

Me. Chairman and Fellow-Citizens — The calamities which 
have been so often foreshown as the results of sectional strife, have 
at length fallen upon our nation. The American people would not 
heed the warning of their fathers; they have refused to live together 
in the spirit of the Constitution. As they grew great and prosper- 
ous, the admonitions of those who pointed out the coming storms 
were derided, and they were denounced as alarmists. If you wish 
to know why a bloody and ferocious civil war now rages in our land, 
read again the Farewell Address of George Washington, and you 
will find that his warnings have become history. 

As if to mock the national prosperity which has made us so boast- 
ful and so confident, our calamities come when unusual wealth fills 
our treasuries, and wlfen our fertile soil feeds famishing nations, sus- 
tains great armies, and still leaves our granaries overflowing with 
golden stores. The official returns of our population, wealth, and 
resources have startled the world. Yet the day of our material pros- 
perity is the day of our humiliation. 

We have not yet felt the full force of the impending storm. The 
clouds of war, in growing and blackening masses, still hang about 
our national Capitol. We see at intervals flashes of its lightning, 
we hear its moanings along the borders of rivers, the shores of 
oceans ; and big pattering drops of blood tell of the tempest which 
is soon to carry mourning, desolation, and death into the homes of 
the American people. 

In this dark hour, what shall conservative and patriotic men do, 
who have vainly struggled in the past to avert these calamities? 
How shall we make this war, which we have foreseen and foretold, 
minister to the good of our country ? It is the inevitable result of 
the evils against which we have combated. We must now accept 
it as the stern teacher which must be heard by those who have closed 
their ears to our arguments and entreaties. 

TTTICA, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1861. 33 

In war, as in peace, we must still toil with patriotic purposes for 
our country's honor and welfare. The wisdom and patriotism of our 
forefathers grew up and was strengthened amid the trials of the Re- 
volutionary struggle. It is our duty so to direct the fratricidal con- 
test in which we are engaged, that the waning wisdom and decaying 
patriotism of this day shall be renewed and reinvigorated by the 
sufferings and misery it will occasion. 

I do not propose to renew the discussions of the past. We leave 
the past to the judgment of the future. In other times its record 
will be read, and the just verdict be given upon the conduct and 
motives of all. We are content to abide the result. Let us now 
confront the duties of the present hour. What shall our conduct be ? 
We are to keep on with our battle against disloyalty in the North 
and the South alike. Our pathways still lead straight onward against 
the enemies of our Union, and against those who make their preju- 
dices and passions higher laws than the laws of our land. 

First, and above all, we are to show obedience to constituted 
authorities, and devotion and respect for legal and constitutional obli- 
gations. We are admonished by Washington, "that respect for the 
authority of government, compliance with its laws, and acquiescence 
with its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of 
true liberty." " The very idea of the power and right of the people 
to establish government, presupposes the duty of every individual to 
obey the established government." The primal sin of disobedience is 
not only the immediate cause of this war, but its spirit has also 
sapped and weakened the foundations of our Municipal, State, and 
National authority in every part of our land. It is the great under- 
lying cause of all our calamities. The spirit of disobedience perme- 
ates our social system ; it renders law powerless, and strips men of 
their rights and of due protection to their persons and property. 
Obedience is the basis of all family, political, and religious organiza- 
tions. It is the principle of cohesion that holds society together, 
without which it crumbles into atoms. Yet we have seen a disregard 
of this vital principle shown in scenes of violence in the halls of our 
national Capitol ; in the exposed corruptions of State legislation ; and 
in the abuses of municipal government. We have heard disobedience 
to laws taught in our pulpits, and commended by the press. It 
breaks out like plague-spots all over our land, showing that the dis- 
ease pervades our political system. This war, the terrible contest in 
which we are engaged, grows out of the pervading malady. We 
must hot only put down revolt, but we must also teach our peo- 
ple the duty of obedience to laws, in all places and under" all cir- 

Among other reasons why I wish to stand before you as a member 
of the Democratic party, and why I wish to see its standard raised at 
this time, is this : 

In common with the majority of the American people, I deplored 
the election of Mr. Lincoln as a great calamity ; yet he was chosen in 
a constitutional manner, and we wish as a defeated organization to 
show our loyalty by giving him a just and generous support. After 
the contest was over, we implored the victors to make some efforts, 
in a spirit of magnanimity, to avert the coming storm, and at least to 
submit to our people some plan of compromise, that their voice 



might be heard before they were made to suffer the evils of civil war, 
and desolation and death carried into their homes. Our prayers 
were unheeded, and those who held power in their hands decided 
upon a different policy. It was their constitutional right to decide, 
and it was our constitutional duty to obey. With sorrowful hearts 
we submitted to that decision. Amid the humiliations of defeat, and 
under all the mortifications of unheeded entreaties and divided counsels, 
we still stand firm and loyal in the support of our Government, and as 
a great patriotic organization, we mean even in defeat to serve our 
country by an exhibition of obedience to constituted authorities. 
And we have but one further request to make of our political oppo- 
nents, — to be as obedient as we shall be to the administration they 
have placed in power against our efforts and our convictions in regard 
to the public interests. And we shall ask no price for this obedience. 
We shall not attempt to dictate a policy to our Government, by 
threatening a withdrawal of our support if our peculiar views of 
policy are not pursued. We shall demand no invasions of the Con- 
stitution to gratify our passions. We shall countenance no ambitious 
general who is willing to embarrass the supreme authority to gain the 
applause of a faction. We shall tolerate no attempts to make the 
calamities of our country the occasion of ambitious and unscrupulous 
men to gain power and place. We shall not consent that this war 
shall be made the beginning of a presidential contest ; and if the 
people of the North are to be dividediu the support of this administra- 
tion by a line of policy which shall make discord and confusion in 
the public mind, we shall not be the authors of the disgrace which 
must inevitably follow. 

The President of these United States can rely upon our support, for 
we have a due sense of loyalty and obedience. We will not weaken 
his policy, he will not be embarrassed by us, so long as he keeps him- 
self within the limits of his constitutional rights. Will the Republican 
party do as much as this? Would not Mr. Lincoln himself be com- 
pelled to say, if called upon to testify, that the embarrassments, 
annoyances, and perplexities which he has encountered have come, 
not from us, but from that discordant organization which put him in 
the presidential chair? The spirit of discord, contention, and 
disloyalty which has brought our country to the verge of ruin, now 
threatens the very administration which it placed in power. 

But at this time our country is startled by measures so unusual 
under our Government, that guards so cautiously the rights of its 
citizens, ihat alarm has been excited lest our Constitution should be 
trampled under foot by the authorities at Washington. The writ of 
habeas corpus has been suspended ; citizens of our own and other 
States have been seized and imprisoned without due process of law, 
shut up beyond the reach of our legal tribunals, deprived of allmeans 
of asserting their innocence, or even knowing the charges upon 
which they were seized ; the public has been kept in ignorance of the 
causes of these apparent violations of rights in which every Ameri- 
can citizen is alike interested. These acts seem to spring from the 
despotism of the Old World, and naturally excite the deep concern 
of all who regard constitutional liberty ; and we are constantly asked, 
what is our duty with respect to these extraordinary measures ? We 
must bear in mind that our country is now engaged in a struggle for 

UTICA, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1861. 35 

its existence. We must place confidence in the administration until 
events prove that that confidence is undeserved. We must assume 
that there are imperative reasons for these unusual measures, which 
in due time will be given to the American people. The. exigencies of 
the day may require that they be withheld for the present. It is our 
duty to suspend our judgments, and to give to the administration 
every presumption in its favor. But it must not be supposed that 
these acts are to be overlooked or forgotten. When the public safety 
will permit, we shall insist upon an explanation of* every apparent 
injustice and wrong. 

While we will not embarrass the Government by premature discus- 
sion, I wish to express my detestation and abhorrence of the doctrines 
that have been asserted in many quarters with regard to the effect of 
war upon our Constitution and our laws. The monstrous proposition 
that our civil or religious rights are held in abeyance, or unprotected 
in times of disorder, makes our whole system of government a mock- 
ery. If this Constitution of ours, in defence of which we pour forth 
our blood and treasure, is but a fair-weather thing, which gives us 
no security in times of violence, when alone we need its protection, 
then the wisdom of our fathers was but folly, and we must admit to 
the world that constitutional governments are no better than despot- 
isms. The great personal rights of freedom of conscience, of the 
protection of our persons, the sacredness of our homes, the trial by 
jury, the freedom from arbitrary arrests, the powers of our State, 
and the restraints upon our General Government, must stand or fall 
together. We will give to the apparent violators of these rights 
the presumption of innocence which is presupposed in the case of 
every alleged violator of law. We admit that they shall be made the 
subjects of investigation and of judgment, when they may be calmly 
and fairly considered. We concede that this ki not the time to de- 
nounce, to condemn, or to commend them.. But they will hereafter 
be earnestly considered by the American people. If the rights of 
any citizen of our land, from partisan malice, or even indifference, 
have been trampled upon, we will demand such punishments upon the 
authors, whether they occupy the presidential chair or seats in cabi- 
nets, or are the more humble instruments of official power, as will 
teach men in authority that they are to restrain themselves within 
the limits of their legal and constitutional jurisdiction. As we intend 
to be rigid in the performance of all our duties as citizens, as we mean 
to be just towards those in authority in giving them every presump- 
tion of innocence, as we require no exposition of their reasons at 
times inconsistent with the public welfare, so, too, shall we be zealous 
in exacting a full vindication of all apparent violations of these rights, 
which patriots in our own and other lands struggled so many painful 
years to assert and establish. It is the boast of the Briton that his 
house is his castle. However humble it may be, although the winds 
of heaven may beat upon it, and the rains may enter it, the king can- 
not. Let it not be said that the liberties of American citizens are 
less perfectly protected, or held less sacred than are those of the sub- 
jects of a crown. 

As I read to you the admonitions of George Washington as to the 
duties of a citizen, let me also read to those in office his warnings to 
those in authority : 


" It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should in- 
spire caution in those interested in its administration, to confine themselves within 
their respective constitutional spheres ; avoiding, in the exercise of the powers of 
one department, to encroach upon the other. The spirit of encroachment tends to 
consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever 
the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, 
and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to 
satisfy us of the truth of this position." 

We owe other duties to our Government. We must strengthen its 
armies, and furnish it with means to conduct this war to a successful 
issue. The day has gone by for efforts to avert it. When the Ameri- 
can people refused to live together in the spirit of the Constitution, 
-when they rejected all adjustment of controversies, they made the 
sword the last and only arbiter. Consistency demands that we who 
strove to avert the war should now strive to make it productive of 
those ends which we sought to reach by peaceful measures. All 
theories of government, that of centralization or that of State rights, 
require that we should stand by the standards of our State in the 
battle-field. Even the Secessionist asserts this to be our duty. The 
Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy declares that he shall be 
governed by the policy of his State, against the dictates of his judg- 
ment. Do we not owe as much allegiance to New York as Mr. 
Stephens does to Georgia? If he follows the banner of his State 
when it leads to assault upon our Union, shall we not follow ours to 
its protection ? We are bound, then, by the fealty due as well to our 
State as to our nation, to support this Administration by our arms 
and by our resources. 

Deep concern is felt by many lest the enrolment of such vast bodies 
of our citizens into military organizations, .arid the influence of the 
camp upon their habits of life and modes of thought, should be pro- 
ductive hereafter of dangers to our Government. I entertain none 
of these fears. I know that the camp develops the bad qualities of 
bad men ; but, on the other hand, it is favorable to the highest exhibi- 
tions of virtue, of gentleness, and of heroism. The bigotry of fanatics 
and the intrigues of statesmen have left more bloody traces upon the 
pages of history than the ambition of soldiers. The virtues of gentle- 
ness, of moderation, of courtesy, have shone conspicuous in military 
annals. The wars of the crusades introduced into Europe the more 
refined arts of Eastern life ; and the era of chivalry, when arms were 
deemed the most honorable pursuit of men, laid the foundation for 
those courtesies and amenities of society, and amelioration of the 
horrors of war, which are characteristic of modern civilization. The 
very dangers and necessities of the battle-field compel an observance 
of those rules which contribute to the mutual safety of those who are 
engaged in it. While he who stays at home and cries havoc, and 
demands that no mercy shall be shown to the enemy taken in arms, 
the soldier whose life is perilled by such ferocious and barbarous senti- 
ments, demands that war shall be conducted upon every principle of 
mercy and forbearance consistent with the end for which it is waged. 
Beyond all other men, he is taught to value the blessings of peace. 
Beyond all other men, he values the virtues of mercy, of gentleness, 
and of charity. When our Saviour hung upon the cross, when 
priests and Pharisees mocked his suffering, a soldier alone discerned 
his divinity, when he heard him pour forth a prayer for mercy and 

UTICA, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1861. 37 

forgiveness for the authors of his sufferings. I have never detected 
in the writings of the heroes of our own Revolution one ferocious 
sentiment expressed towards our enemies. I have never heard from 
the lips of those who are enrolled in our army one expression of 
malice or hatred towards the citizens of the Southern States. While I 
have listened with pain to sentiments uttered in places where Christian 
charity and forbearance should be manifested, I have heard from 
those who peril their lives in the defence of our Union, sentiments 
more generous and more just towards those with whom they are 
engaged in deadly conflict. They have learned upon the battle-field 
that the charge that the citizens of the South were cowardly, were 
incapable of manly exertion, or destitute of virtuous or heroic quali- 
ties, was a malignant libel upon the American character. 

If it was in my power to name those who should determine upon 
what principle this war should cease, and what measures should be 
adopted to restore the former fraternal regard between the citizens 
of different sections of our land, I should select the armies which now 
confront reach other upon the banks of the Potomac. Deeply as I 
have deplored this unnatural contest, I believe that the mutual re- 
spect which must be the basis of future reconciliation, can only be 
gained upon the battle-field. Every act of chivalry, of heroism, and 
of fortitude displayed by American citizens, North or South, tends to 
restore those sentiments of mutual respect without which our Union 
cannot stand. In no other way can we wipe out the effects of mis- 
representation, of calumny, of passion, and of prejudice. 

I hope and believe that our arms are to triumph in this contest; but 
I do not believe, nor do I wish, that the men of the South should prove 
themselves unworthy of being our fellow-citizens. If I thought they 
were what they have been represented to be by the authors of that 
sectional agitation that has brought our country into its present peril, 
I would not wish to bring them back again into this confederacy. 
While I look upon them as mistaken and misguided men, while I 
know that they have listened too much to the counsels of ambitions 
leaders among themselves, and to the malignant attacks of those of 
the North who hate and denounce the Constitution of our Government, 
I know they possess in common with ourselves the virtues, the hero- 
ism, and the determination which mark the American character. 

We are to triumph only by virtue of superior numbers, of greater 
resources, and a juster cause. Our fellow-citizens who are now vol- 
unteering to fight the battles of our Government, do not go there with 
the expectation of encountering feeble or cowardly forces. They 
have been foremost in denouncing and correcting the unjust impres- 
sions which have been caused by false statements and charges. They 
have defended, and will continue to defend, with jealous care and with 
chivalrous pride the reputations of those against whom they have 
struggled in the deadly combat. They feel for the armies of the South 

" Stern joy which warriors feel, 
In foeinen worthy of their steel." 

Those who enter our armies are animated by patriotic impulses. 
They swear to uphold our Constitution, and they will do it. They 
rally to support our laws, and they learn and practise in the camp 
those habits of obedience which are essential alike to true liberty and 


a vigorous government. When peace is restored, and after they have 
made those great sacrifices for their country, will they look with favor 
upon agitators who have made those sacrifices necessary ? Will they 
tolerate the doctrine that laws are not to be obeyed, simply because 
a portion of our citizens claim to be inspired by a higher virtue than 
animates our Government or pervades our statutes ? I tell you that 
at all times in the history of our country, those men have proved 
themselves most loyal to the principles of our Government, to the 
supremacy of our laws, who have been ready to peril their lives and 
their fortunes in their defence. 

In addition to strengthening our Government by obedience and by 
our armies and resources, it is our duty to inquire into the causes of 
this war. Guilty agitators at the North and South, who now shrink 
back affrighted at the terrible evils which they have brought upon 
their respective communities, and who dread the resentment of an in- 
dignant people, seek to create the impression that this war was inev- 
itable, and not the work of their counsels. They agree in saying that 
slavery and the Union cannot coexist. At the Sonth they insist that 
the continuance of the Union involves destruction of their rights, 
their interests, and their safety. Their colaborers of the North use 
the same argument, and insist that the institutions of the South must 
be destroyed if the Union is to be restored. 

I deny that slavery is the cause of this war. It has always existed 
in our land. It was here when our Government was formed. It has 
existed during our wonderful progress as a nation. It has never 
occupied so small a proportion of our territory, or wielded so little 
power in our national representations, as at this day. But I admit 
that it is one of the principal subjects of controversy. But we must 
not confound the causes of contention with the subjects of conten- 
tion. They are frequently distinct. When fanaticism put incendiary 
torches to churches in our land, were these churches the cause of 
public disorder, or was it bigotry which disgraced the religion it pro- 
fessed to honor ? When our citizens of foreign birth were persecuted 
with malignant hate, were they the cause of controversy ? and was 
their removal the proper mode of restoring peace? or was the igno- 
rance and illiberality which would drive them from our shores to be 
rebuked and corrected ? 

If it is true that slavery must be abolished to save this Union, then 
the people of the South should be allowed to withdraw themselves 
from that Government which cannot give them the protection guar- 
anteed by its terms. 

Among the prominent causes of this war, agitation upon the sub- 
ject of slavery stands foremost. Ambitious men at the South, who 
desire a separate confederacy, and those who believe that their ma- 
terial interests will be advanced by the dissolution of the Union, have 
successfully alarmed their fellow-citizens as to the security not alone 
of their property, but for the safety and the lives of their families. 
Unaided, these leaders could not have stirred up the South to its 
present insurrection. Unfortunately this subject of slavery afforded 
ambitious men at the North, and those engaged in the philanthropic 
line of business, who reaped a political profit from agitation, an op- 
portunity to exasperate the North in respect to an institution which 
in fact was rapidly concentrating and limiting itself to that portion 
of our country engaged in particular pursuits. 

UTICA, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1861. 39 

Every day'3 progress of this war shows how successful they were 
in deceiving the people of the North with respect to the condition, 
the resources, and the power of the South. Even the man they 
placed in the presidential chair did not know the material condition 
of the country over which he was called to preside as chief-magis- 
trate. Leading members of his administration and his principal sup- 
porters have, within the limits of a single year, declared that the 
South could not and would not make any resistance to our Govern- 
ment ; that they were incapable of maintaining a war ; that they could 
not, without our aid, hold their own slaves in subjection; that they 
lacked the resources to uphold a separate existence. Belief in these 
assertions determined the result of the last presidential contest. 

Yet, at the very outset of his administration, the President was 
compelled to correct a mass of misapprehensions, and to show the 
falseness of the very statements that elevated him to power, by a de- 
mand for vast armies and enormous contributions of money to uphold 
his Government, and to save the national capital from the grasp of 
those who had been stigmatized as incapable of even maintaining 
themselves, unaided by our powers and our resources. I need not 
dwell upon the false impressions which have been made upon the 
Northern mind. Every day's events dispel them with a power which 
words do not possess. The chief cause, then, of this war, has been 
an agitation upon the subject of slavery, carried on against the warn- 
ings and admonitions of the wise, the good, and the patriotic, and 
based upon a system of falsehoods and misrepresentations which now 
stand exposed in all their enormity. 

But there are secondary causes which must not be overlooked, 
evils that must be corrected if we hope to restore our Government. 
In vain will our victorious armies traverse the territory of the South, 
in vain shall we win victories upon the battle-field, if the American 
people do not go back to the wisdom, the loyalty, and the patriotism 
of our fathers. It is our duty in this day of peril to confront all the 
evils which beset us, to use all plainness of speech in pointing out our 
national errors and defects. I have already spoken of our habits of 
disobedience to laws, and want of respect for constituted authorities. 
We are also neglectful in the performance of our political duties. 
The theory of our Government, which gives to us unusual rights, im- 
plies that an exercise of these rights is essential to the success of our 
system. And yet it is true that that class of our citizens whose social 
position, whose personal influence, or whose fortune, gives them the 
greatest power for the preservation of the purity of the elective fran- 
chise, are those who are the most criminal and neglectful in this re- 
spect. They demand a spotless judiciary, honest legislation, a vigor- 
ous executive, yet they do nothing to secure them. They ask the 
protection of law for their property and their persons, and yet they 
are unwilling to exercise powers which are both rights and duties. 
Not a few deem their personal respectability increased by the boast 
that they give no attention to political affairs. They ask for the ad- 
vantages of good government, but are unwilling to put forth the efforts 
to secure them. Our gross ignorance in regard to our own country 
disclosed by this war, the disorders in our Government, the present 
condition of our public affairs, are due mainly to the selfish conduct of 
those who charge that our institutions have failed to meet the expec- 


tations of the framers, when the only failure has been their neglect to 
perform the duties of good citizenship. It is difficult to say who does 
the most to destroy our Government — the man who boasts that he 
has nothing to do with politics, or the man who makes politics a trade. 
They are equally selfish, unpatriotic, and disloyal. The spirit of pa- 
triotism had almost died out in our land, until it was revived by recent 
events. It was looked upon as a mere speculative enthusiasm. The 
most eloquent and the most forcible exposition of the duty of a patri- 
otic love to our country has been regarded as we should regard a 
beautiful description of the setting sun, a mere rhetorical effort of no 
practical value. "What will the war in which we are engaged do to- 
wards remedying these evils ? It has already done much in correct- 
ing popular misapprehensions ; it has displayed the enormous power 
of both the Northern and the Southern States. We are already more 
intelligent than we were at the commencement. We admit that we 
have underrated our countrymen. We have been taught that this 
Union, which many regarded so lightly a few months since, is indis- 
pensable to our peace and prosperity. We have discovered the great 
reciprocal value of the productions of the North and the South. We 
begin to see, as our fathers saw, that this wonderful country of ours 
is knit together by rivers, lakes, and its great natural features, and 
must not be disunited. We have learned when we shut the ports of 
the South, that we close the factories of the North. The men of the 
North and the South now feel the mutual dependence of the buyer 
and the seller, of the producer and consumer. The ignorance shown 
by the people of the South in regard to our power, our resources, and 
our wealth, has filled us with astonishment. But we now make the 
discovery that our ignorance in regard to them was equally dense and 
disreputable. Six months since we deemed that man most patriotic 
who believed that 20,000 men could 'march through the Southern 
States, and put down this rebellion. We suspected the loyalty of him 
who held that 100,000 men were unequal to the task. We now find 
that we deemed ignorance loyalty, and we denounced intelligence 
as treasonable. 

This war, then, with its multiplied eVils, has brought with it many 
and significant benefits. But it must do much more before it makes 
us as patriotic, as intelligent, and as loyal as our fathers were. But if 
the war should cease to-day, we have secured one teacher who will be 
faithful in his annual round in reminding our people of their lack of 
wisdom in neglecting the counsels of the framers of the Government. 
The tax-gatherer each year will enter our houses. Let us read his 
warrant aright, and it will tell us that he comes to exact the penalties 
due for neglected duties — the lack of patriotism and the want of intel- 
ligence which has enabled ambitious and designing men to plunge 
our country into an unnatural and fratricidal contest. Inattention to 
public, as well as to private affairs puts mortgages upon our farms and 
encumbrances upon our possessions. 

I shall not attempt to foreshadow the consequences of this war. I 
do not claim a spirit of prophecy. We have had too much of the 
irreverence that treats the finger of God like the fingers upon the 
guide-posts, and makes it point to the paths which men wish to have 
pursued. But I believe that we are either to be restored to our 
former position, with the Constitution unweakened, and the powers 

UTICA, jST. T., OCTOBER 28, 1861. 41 

of the States unimpaired, and the fireside rights of our citizens duly- 
protected, or that our whole system of government is to fail. If this 
contest is to end in a revolution ; if a more arbitrary government is 
to grow out of its ruins, I do not believe that even then the wishes 
of ultra and violent men will be gratified. Let them remember the 
teachings of history. Despotic governments do not love the agitators 
that call them into existence. When Cromwell drove out from Par- 
liament the latter-day saints and higher-law men of his day, and 
" bade them cease their vain babblings ; " and when Napoleon scat- 
tered at the point of the bayonet the Council of Five Hundred, and 
crushed revolution beneath his iron heel, they taught a lesson which 
should be heeded this day by men who are animated by a vindictive 
piety or a malignant philanthropy. 

No strong government which may be evoked by the present politi- 
cal convulsions in our land will consent to disorganize and destroy the 
Southern States by giving immediate freedom to 4,000,000 nnedu- 
cated Africans. Revolution, while it will destroy the liberties of our 
land, will also crush out all higher-law doctrines ; and we appeal to 
the Abolitionists of our country to consider if a due regard for their 
own security does not demand that this contest shall be adjusted at 
the first practicable moment, upon terms that shall leave the affairs of 
the people of the South to their own control and management. 

The Democratic party has been urged at this time to abandon its \ 
organization. It has been said that political purposes should now be ' 
laid aside. This is true. But we must not confound political organi- 
zations with partisan purposes. Will any one admit that heretofore 
the parties to which they have been attached have had no higher 
objects than political triumphs ? ^ 

We believe that we can best promote the interests of our country | 
by preserving our time-honored organization. It has been so closely 
identified with the history and progress of our country, that its disso- 
lution would seem like the severance of the last bond which holds 
our country together., I know that many of our patriotic citizens, and 
those for whom I entertain a strong personal regard, have united in 
this movement with a belief that they should thereby secure a greater 
degree of unity of action among our people. They felt that past 
divisions should be overlooked. I appeal to them if these expectations 
and hopes have been realized ? Has this movement produced una- 
nimity of purpose, or has it caused confusion ? Has it made fewer 
parties, or more parties ? 

We do not object to this organization that its members or its nom- 
inees held different views in the past; but we do object to it that they 
hold discordant opinions now. We do not object to it that they held 
different purposes heretofore; but that they are pursuing different 
objects at this time. The election of its ticket will not carry har- 
mony and unity of purpose to your State Capitol, but discord and 
confusion. Its very authors have admitted that this movement was a 
great mistake. It is simply a party which is all union and no har- 
mony ; it agrees in regard to offices, and disagrees with respect to 
principles. One wing of this organization is conservative and patri- j "j 
otic, the other is violent and revolutionary. Some of its_ nominees I I 
have avowed the most extreme doctrines of the Secessionists of the 
South, others agree with the ultra Abolitionists of the North. Which 


class will prevail? If they are placed in power, no principle will be 
settled, no contest will be ended. Controversies will begin with their 
advent to place. 

I appeal to the conservative and patriotic men who have joined 
that organization, if they are acting wisely and well in affiliating 
with those whose principles and purposes they detest, or in placing 
in office men whom they believe to have been instrumental in pausing 
this war, and who do not hold one purpose as to the future in com- 
mon with themselves? Are they not contributing to bring about 
the very evils and calamities which they wish to avoid ? If they suc- 
ceed, what influence will any conservative or patriotic man have in 
the State ? Their nominees are supported most cordially by every 
journal and every class of men who have not only been vindictive, 
violent, and revolutionary in the past, but are also vindictive, violent, 
and revolutionary now. 

I implore the patriotic and conservative men who have heretofore 
acted with this organization for conservative purposes, to pause and 
ponder, and see if they are not about to fall into the hands of those 
from whom they differ most widely. This movement is not only dan- 
gerous, but absurd. There is usually attached to the travelling me- 
nageries of our country an exhibition called the "happy family," 
where animals of the most opposite character are penned together 
in one cage. We admire the skill that seems to subdue their natural 
instincts to rend and destroy each other, and are surprised to see 
birds, beasts, and reptijes living in apparent harmony. This may do 
for one of the curiosities of a museum, but it will not answer for the 
government of a State. It will be found that the passions and pre- 
judices of men are not so easily subdued, and our political " happy 
family " will be found to be not only a blunder but a disaster. 

But is the proposition of our Republican friends, that they will dis- 
solve their organization, and that we shall give up ours, quite fair and 
equal ? Their party is but a thing of yesterday. It grew out of a 
sectional passion or prejudice. It never embraced our whole coun- 
try within its organization. Its first victory is associated with the 
ruin of our land. If they wish to abandon it, let them do so ; but let 
them not attempt to cover that abandonment by a proposal that we 
shall give up a party which is identified with the greatness, the prog- 
ress, and the power of our nation. 

It has been well said by one of our townsmen, that if an American 
citizen, returning from abroad and ignorant of the events which have 
happened within the past two years, should hear that civil war was 
raging here, his first exclamation would be : " Then the Democratic 
party was defeated at the last Presidential election ! " We believe 
that our success at this time will strengthen the Union men of the 
South. We believe that the dissolution of the Democratic party 
would discourage them. We mean, therefore, to emulate the 
example of our brethren in Pennsylvania, and strive to place in 
power not only a harmonious State administration, but one that will 
have the confidence of patriotic men in every section of our country. 

We are willing to support this war as a means of restoring our 
Union, and because we regard it as a harsh but necessary remedy for 
the evils of the day. But we will not carry it on in a spirit of hatred, 
malice, or revenge. Whatever our views may be with respect to 

UTICA, N. T., JULY 14, 1862. 43 

slavery, we do not regard it as the canse of the controversy. "We 
hold that the' controversies of the day do not grow so much out of 
the institution of slavery as from the existence at the South of vast 
numbers of the African race. That the abolition of slavery would not 
end the contest, but that it would be the commencement of a lasting, 
destructive, terrible domestic conflict. We know that the people of 
the North would not consent that 4,000,000 of free negroes should 
live in their midst; that they would not agree to the abolition of 
slavery if those manumitted slaves were to be moved into the North- 
ern States, and placed upon the vast unoccupied lands belonging to 
our Government. If we would not live with them under these cir- 
cumstances, with what justice do we demand that the people of the 
South should be subjected to all the evils, and insecurity, and loss of 
constitutional right, involved in the immediate abolition of slavery ? 

We cannot, therefore, make this a war for the abolition of slavery. 
We will not permit it to be made a war upon the rights of the States. 
We shall strive to make the contest end in the re-establishment of 
our Government and the restoration of fraternal feeling among the 
people of this country. We shall see that it does not crush out the 
liberties of the citizen, or the reserved powers of the States. We 
shall hold that man to be as much a traitor who urges our govern- 
ment to overstep its constitutional powers, as he who resists the 
exercise of its rightful authority. We shall contend that the rights 
of the States and the General Government are equally sacred. Our 
motto is: "The Union, the Constitution, and the Laws. The 
Union upon equal terms, the whole Constitution, and all the Laws." 

Public Meeting at Utica, N. Y., July 14, 1862, to aid 



" The undersigned, citizens of Utica, invite their fellow-citizens to 
meet with them at the City Hall, on Monday evening, July 14, at 7£ 
o'clock, for the purpose of providing ways and means for the support 
of the Government in this new and pressing emergency. The exi- 
gencies of war call for more troops, for new efforts on the part of 
all patriots, or all that has been done for the preservation of the Union 
will go for naught. The only way out of our present difficulties is 
through victory. To that end the loyal States must put forth every 
energy, so that the struggle, which has become desperate, may be 
rendered short. Let us meet as patriots, and provide help for our 
gallant army, and support for the Government, to the end that the 
infamous rebellion which threatens our liberties may be suppressed, 
and the integrity and honor of the Union maintained. 

" Signed by Hoeatio Setmoue and several hundred others." 



The Call for 300,000 Troops — The Question simply how the Quota shall be 
filled— Volunteering preferable to a Drafts-Dangers of Foreign Interven- 
tion—Help the Men in the Gap— The Speaker volunteers in case of 
Foreign Intervention. 

At the meeting held in pursuance of the above call, Mr. Seymour 
spoke substantially as, follows : 

Fellow-Citizens — The constituted authorities of our Government 
have declared the necessity that 300,000 soldiers should be added to 
our armies, in order to make up the deficiencies from the casualties 
of war, from sickness and disability. The authorities of New York 
are called upon to furnish their quota of this number, which is about 
50,000 ; and the county of Oneida her share of the State's quota, 
which is about 1,500. This is the voice of authority, and every good 
citizen will make a fair and ready response to the call. We do not 
meet to determine whether we will or will not respond, or to say 
whether our quota shall be furnished or not; it is to determine in 
what manner, and under what circumstances, they will go ; whether 
they are to go voluntarily, or be dragged from among us by conscrip- 
tion. We may differ in regard to the causes, and consequences of the 
war, but in this there should be and can be no difference ; men of all 
classes should come forward at once and exert themselves to the 
utmost to avert the alternative. When, therefore, the committee for 
this district was appointed by the Governor, and my name placed on 
the list, I was proud to accept, and together we should now exert 
ourselves to see how far we can mitigate the evils of the war. We 
are to meet this question fairly, and look it squarely in the face. 

If Oneida county has not done her duty in recruiting, she should 
do it now. She has already done her duty in the battle-field, whether 
she has done it in recruiting or not. If possible, we should now secure 
volunteers, not conscripts. It may happen that the chance of the 
draft falls upon those who have already contributed to the armies of 
the land ; upon those who have fathers, brothers, sons, already in the 
field, or upon those who have large families dependent upon them for 
support, while those who have done comparatively nothing may escape. 
We must make arrangements so that those will go who can go with 
the least inconvenience. I do not know that there is a single member 
of this committee who is liable to do military duty, and they are not 
placed there to relieve themselves from it. Those who have been 
placed on the committee, if they do not fight harder than the rest, will 
have to pay more. 

So much for the strictly legal aspects of the situation ; but there are 
other considerations which address themselves to us. Ours is a bor- 
der State, and we must not lose sight of our liability to invasion in 
case of foreign intervention, which may be expected if the rebellion is 
not speedily brought to its death-bed. In that event, upon the fron- 
tiers of this State may fall the bloodiest part of the fight. He did 
not mean to be an alarmist, and would not indulge in needless specu- 
lation upon such probabilities; but it did not become the dignity of 
the great State of New York that its freedom and peace should be 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 45 

dependent upon the good faith and friendly feeling*of any foreign 
power. If such a war does come, we must not suffer it to be a war 
of invasion, but we must carry it into the territory of the aggressor. 

So much, he said, for our interest ; but there was something more im- 
perative than that. We must step forward to the help of the men 
who went from our midst at the first call from their country. Amid 
all the excitement of the contest in which they are engaged, amid the 
roar of cannon and the carnage of battle, if a thought intervened, it 
was a thought of their homes in the beautiful Mohawk valley ; and 
they have been cheered on by the thought that your sympathies were 
with them. Shall we be so recreant as to neglect them, now they 
call to us from the battle-field and from the hospitals for succor? and 
shall it be said that they looked to you in vain ? And you must send 
them men who have voluntarily and proudly offered themselves; not 
those dragged to their assistance by the force of the law. 

I appeal, therefore, to this meeting, and to all good citizens, to succor 
the efforts of this committee to fill up the regiments already in the 
field; and I appeal to them to raise the new regiment. It is now sim- 
ply a question how we can best do our duty to the Government. 

The speaker, alluding to the probability of foreign invasion, re- 
marked that still another call for soldiers might be made, when, 
although he had not the warrior's strength, nor the soldier's skill, he 
should respond. His vow was registered in the military offices of the 
State, pledging him to such a course. We have no differences on 
this point, — that the present difficulties shall be settled by Americans 
themselves, without foreign interference. But such foreign interfer- 
ence was to be anticipated, and unless this new call for men is 
promptly answered, we may find ourselves helpless before the heredi- 
tary enemies of our country. 


At this meeting it was resolved to raise by subscription a fund to 
pay additional bounty to the volunteers from Oneida county, which 
subscription Horatio Seymour headed with $200. 

Mr. Seymour at the Democratic State Convention, Al- 
bany, September 10, 1862, on receiving the Nomi- 
nation of Governor. 

Thanks for the Nomination — Refers to action of previous Convention — 
Refusal of the Republicans to make Compromise — Result of Republican 
Action — What he saw in the Army and at Washington — Present condition 
of the Country — Newspaper Extracts — Urges Party Organization — De- 
mands bold and determined Issues — Shows why the Republicans cannot 
save the Country — On the Question of emancipating and arming Negroes 
— Taxation — Proposals for Democratic Action. 

Me. President — Having uniformly and decidedly expressed my un- 
willingness to hold any official position at this time, I did not expect 


my name would be brought before this Convention. The nomination 
you have made subjects me to great inconvenience, whatever may be 
the result of this election. I came to this Convention expecting to 
aid in placing at the head of the ticket the name of one whom I feel 
to be more fit than myself for that honorable position. But, sir, what- 
ever may be the injury to myself, I cannot refuse a nomination made 
in a manner that touches my heart and fills me with a still stronger 
sense of my obligations to this great and patriotic party. In addition 
to my debt of gratitude to partial friends, I am impelled by the con- 
dition of our country to sacrifice my personal wishes and interests to 
its good. 

Two years have not passed away since a convention, remarkable 
for its numbers, patriotism, and intelligence, assembled at this place to 
avert if possible the calamities which afflict our people. In respectful 
terms, it implored the leaders of the political party which had tri- 
umphed at a recent election to submit to the people of this country 
some measure of conciliation which would save them from civil war. 
It asked that before we should be involved in the evils and horrors of 
domestic bloodshed, those upon whom it would bring bankruptcy and 
ruin, and into whose homes it would carry desolation and death, 
should be allowed to speak. That prayer for the rights of our people 
was derided and denounced, and false assurances were given that there 
was no danger. The storm came upon us with all its fury — and the 
war so constantly and clearly foretold, desolated our land. It is said 
no compromises would have satisfied the South. If we had tried them 
it would not now be a matter of discordant opinion. If these offers 
had not satisfied the South, they would have gratified loyal men at 
the North, and would have united us more perfectly. 

Animated by devotion to our Constitution and Union, our people ral- 
lied to the support of Government, and one year since showed an armed 
strength that astonished the world. We again appealed to those who 
wielded this mighty material power, to use it for the restoration of 
the Union and to uphold the Constitution, and were told that he who 
clamored for his constitutional rights was a traitor ! 

Congress assembled. Inexperienced in the conduct of public affairs, 
drunk with power, it began its course of agitation, outrage, and wrong. 
The defeat of our arms at Manassas, for a time filled it with terror. 
Under this influence it adopted the resolution of Mr. Crittenden, 

"That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the 
Disunionists of the Southern States, now in arms against the constitutional Govern- 
ment, and in arms around the capital ; that in this national emergency Congress, 
banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to 
the whole country ; that this war is not waged, on their part, in any spirit of op- 
pression or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing 
or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend 
and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union, with all 
the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that as soon as 
these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease." 

Again the people rallied around the flag of the Union. But no 
sooner were their fears allayed than they began anew the factious in- 
trigues, the violent discussions, and the unconstitutional legislation 
which ever brings defeat and disgrace upon nations. In vain were 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 47 

they warned of the consequences of their follies. In vain did the 
President implore forbearance and moderation. No act was omitted 
which would give energy to the Secessionists, or which would humili- 
ate and mortify the loyal men of the South. Every topic calculated to 
divide and distract the North was dragged into embittered debates. 
Proclamations of emancipation were urged upon the President, which 
could only confiscate the property of loyal citizens at the South ; for 
none others could be reached by the power of the Government. The 
confiscation act had already forfeited the legal rights of all who were 
engaged in or who aided and upheld the rebellion. These were ex- 
cited to desperate energy by laws which made their lives, their for- 
tunes, the safety of their families and homes, depend upon the success 
of their schemes. From the dragon's teeth, sown broadcast by Con- 
gress, have sprung the armies which have driven back our forces, and 
which now beleaguer the capital of our country. The act3 of the 
national Legislature have given pleasure to the Abolitionists, victo- 
ries to the Secessionists. But while treason rejoices and triumphs, 
defeat and disgrace have been brought upon the flag of our country 
and the defenders of our Constitution. Everyman who visited Wash- 
ington six months ago could see and feel we were upon the verge of 
disaster. Discord, jealousy, envy, and strife pervaded its atmosphere. 
I went to the camp of our soldiers. Amid the hardships of an ex- 
hausting campaign — amid sufferings from exposure and want — amid 
those languishing upon beds of sickness, or those struck down by the 
casualties of war, I heard and saw only devotion to our Constitution, 
and love for our country's flag. Each eye brightened as it looked upon 
the national standard, with its glorious emblazonry of stars and stripes. 
From this scene of patriotic devotion I went into our national Capi- 
tol. I traversed its mosaic pavements ; I gazed upon its walls of 
polished marble ; I saw upon its ceilings all that wealth, lavishly 
poured out, could do to make them suggestive of our country's great- 
ness, and its wonderful wealth of varied productions. Art had ex- 
hausted itself in painting and sculpture to make every aspect sugges- 
tive of high and noble thought and purpose. Full of the associations 
which cluster- about this vast temple, which should be dedicated to 
patriotism and truth, I entered its legislative halls ; their gilded walls 
and gorgeous furniture did not contrast more strongly with the rude 
scenes of martial life, than did the glistening putrescence and thin lac- 
quer of congressional virtue contrast with the sterling loyalty and 
noble self-sacrifice of our country's defenders. I listened to debates 
full of bitterness and strife. 

I saw in the camp a heartfelt homage to our national flag — a stern 
defiance of those who dared to touch its sacred folds with hostile hands. 
I heard in the Capitol threats of mutilation of its emblazonry, by strik- 
ing down the life of States. He who would rend our national standard 
by dividing our Union is a traitor. He who would put out one glit- 1 
tering star from its azure field, is a traitor too. 


Let us now confront the facts of our condition, and they shall be 
stated in the language of those who brought this Administration into 


power, and who now are politically opposed to the members of this 
Convention. After the expenditure of nearly one thousand millions 
of dollars, and the sacrifice of more than one hundred thousand North- 
ern lives, in the language of the Evening Post — 

" What has been the result ? Our armies of the "West, the noble victors of Fort 
Donelson and Shiloh, are scattered so that no man knows their whereabout, while the 
foe they were sent to disperse is a hundred miles in their rear, threatening the cities 
of Tennessee and Kentucky, and even advancing towards one of the principal com- 
mercial cities of the free States. There is no leadership, no unity of command, ap- 
parently no plan or concert of action, in the entire region we have undertaken to hold 
and defend. At the same time, our army of the East, numbering 250,000 troops, 
fully armed and equipped, and admirably disciplined, after investing the capital of the 
enemy, has been driven back to its original position on the Potomac, decimated in 
numbers and unprepared to make a single vigorous movement in advance." 

And it adds : 

" Now it is useless to shut our eyes to the fact that this is a failure, disgraceful, 
humiliating, and awful." 

The Evening Journal, the accredited organ of the Secretary of 
State, now admits the truths uttered in this hall when we assembled 
here in February, 1861 ; truths then derided and denounced as absurd 
and treasonable. It says : 

"The war has been a stern schoolmaster to the people of the loyal States. "We 
have learned the folly of underrating our enemies. "We have learned that they are 
equally brave, equally hardy, equally quick-witted, equally endowed with martial 
qualities with ourselves. We have learned they are terribly in earnest in their 
efforts to achieve their ends." 

The New York Tribune declares that 

"The country is in peril. Viewed from the stand-point of the public estimate of 
' the situation,' it is in extreme peril. The rebels seem to be pushing forward their 
forces all along the border line from the Atlantic to the Missouri. They are threaten- 
ing the Potomac and the Ohio. They are striking at Washington, Cincinnati, and 
Louisville. This simultaneous movement is both alarming and encouraging. It is 
alarming, because through the timidity, despondency, or folly of the Federal Govern- 
ment, it may become temporarily successful, giving to the foe a lodgment in some 
portion of the free States which may require weeks to break up." 

But it is admitted by those who were opposed to us, that debt and 
defeat are not the heaviest calamities which weigh us down. A vir- 
tuous people and a pure government can bear up against any amount 
of outward pressure or physical calamity ; but when rottenness and 
corruption pervade the legislative hall or executive department, the 
heart of the patriot faints and his arm withers. The organ of the 
Secretary of State admits : 

" There have been mistakes. There have been speculations. Weak men have dis- 
graced, and bad men have betrayed the Government. Contractors have fattened on 
fat jobs. Adventurers have found the war a source of private gain. Moral despe- 
radoes have nocked about the national capital and lain in wait for prey. The scum 
of the land has gathered about the sources of power, and defiled them by its reek 
and offensive odor. There has been mismanagement in the departments; mis- 
management wherever great labor has been performed and great responsibility de- 
volved. Men — even Presidents and Cabinet officers and commanding Generals — 
have erred, because they could not grasp the full significance of the drama, and be- 
cause they were compelled to strike out on untrodden paths." — Eve. Journal. 

Hear the voice of a leading Republican orator : 

" I declare it on my responsibility as a Senator of the United States," said John P. 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 49 

Hale, " that the liberties of this country are in"greater danger to-day from the cor- 
ruptions and from the profligacy practised in the various departments of the Govern- 
ment than they are from the open enemy in the field." 

The New York World exclaims in an agony of remorse : 

" It is with dismay and unspeakable shame that we, who have supported the Admin- 
istration from the beginning, observe its abuse of its power of arrest. There is no 
such thing as justifying or extenuating its conduct in this particular. Every princi- 
ple of American liberty, every regard for the loyal cause, every sentiment of justice, 
every impulse of manhood, cries out against it. The man who thinks at all is abso- 
lutely staggered that these things can be. They seem like some hideous dream. One 
can almost' fancy that Mephistophiles himself had got access into the councils of 
the Government, and by some dovice, fresh from the pit, had diverted its energies 
from th9 repression of rebellion to the suppression of liberty." 

The New York Times demands a change in the Administration, 
and in the conduct of affairs. 

I have thus carefully set forth the declarations and named the wit- 
nesses to this awful indictment against our rulers, for we mean to 
proceed with all the care and candor, and all the bolernnity of a ju- 
dicial tribunal. 

It is with a sorrowful heart I point to these dark pictures, not 
drawn by journals of the Democratic party. God knows that as a 
member of that patriotic organization, as an American citizen, I would 
gladly efface them if I could. But, alas ! they are grounded upon 
truths that cannot be gainsaid. Once more, then, our Republican 
fellow-citizens, in this day of our common humiliation and disgrace, 
we implore you as respectfully as in the hour of your political triumph, 
listen to our suggestions. We do not come with reproaches, but 
with entreaties. Follow the pathways marked out by the Constitution 
and we shall be extricated from our perilous position. On the other 
hand, if you will still be governed by those who brought us into our 
present condition, you will learn too late that there are yet deeper 
depths of degradation before us, and greater miseries to be borne 
than those which now oppress us. Nay more, the President of the 
United States appeals to us all, in his communication with the loyal 
men of the border States, when he says he is pressed to violate his duty, 
his oath of office, and the Constitution of the land — pressed by cow- 
ardly and heartless men, living far away from the scenes of war, fatten- 
ing upon the wealth coined from the blood and misery of the land, 
and living in those localities where official investigations sho'w that 
this people and Government have been robbed by fraudulent contracts. 
Such -men demand that those who have suffered most in this contest, 
who have shown the highest and purest patriotism under the terrible 
trials of divided families, of desolated homes, of ruined fortunes and 
of blood-stained fields, should have a new and further evil inflicted 
upon them by the hands of a Government they are struggling to up- 
hold. By the help of God and the people we will relieve the Presi- 
dent from that pressure. 


An attempt is made to close the ears of our Republican friends to 
our appeals, because we act as a political organization. Can we do 



otherwise ? "Would not the dispersion of this ancient party, identi- 
fied as it is with the growth, greatness and glory of our land, he look- 
ed upon as a calamity, even by our opponents? Did not a shadow 
fall upon our country when it was torn apart at Charleston ; and do 
not men of all parties point to its disruption as one of the causes of 
this unnatural war? Is it not just we should have a representation 
in the State and National Government proportioned to our contribu- 
tions to our armies and. the treasury? If we elect all of our ticket 
at this time, we shall have no more than our proportional share of 
political power. It may be said we should meet without regard to 
political organizations, and nominate officers. This destroys the 
object of such organizations. They would cease to be protections 
against abuses of power or the inroads of corruption. Let the two 
great parties be honest and honorable enough to meet in fair and open 
discussion with well-defined principles and politics. Then each will 
serve our country as well out of power as in power. The vigilance 
kept alive by party contest guards against corruption or oppression. 
This watchfulness is most needed when unusual expeditures of money 
present unusual temptations to the corrupt and selfish. 

For another reason we cannot disband our organization. The 
Union men of the Border and more Southern States, without distinc- 
tion of party, implore us not to do so. They tell us a triumph of our 
party now would be worth more than victories upon the battle-field. 
It would reassure their friends, it would weaken their opponents. 
Every advantage gained over abolitionism puts down the rebellion. 
While they and we know there are many just and patriotic men in 
the Republican party, it is still true that its success gives power and 
influence to the violent and fanatical, and that their party action al- 
ways goes beyond their party platform. 

Every fair man admits there is no way of correcting abuses but by 
a change of political leaders. The Republican party demanded this 
when they charged abuses upon Democratic administration. They 
should concede the principle now. 

Experience shows that frauds practised by political friends are not 
punished by men in power. It is conceded that gross frauds have 
been committed in different departments of Government ; that they 
have brought distress upon our soldiers, defeat upon our arms, and 
disgrace upon our people. But not one man has been punished, or 
made to feel the power of that prerogative which is claimed to be an 
incident of war. Corruption, that has done more to destroy the Na- 
tional power than armed rebellion, has gone unscathed. The sentinel 
who slept upon his post has been sentenced to death — the official who 
closed his eyes to frauds which destroyed armies, is quietly removed, 
by and with the advice of the Senate, and represents the Nation's ' 
character at the capital of a friendly power ! Citizens in loyal States 
who became the objects of suspicion or of malignant assaults, have 
been seized at their homes, dragged to distant prisons without trial 
and without redress, while each convicted plunderer walks freely and 
boldly among the people he has robbed and wronged. Maladminis- 
tration demands, change of administration. 

At this time issues should be fairly and boldly made. It is no 
dishonor to be mistaken, but it is disgraceful not to be outspoken. Let 
this war at least settle questions of principle. A few months will de- 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 51 

cide who is right and who is wrong now, as the past two years have 
shown who were right and who were wrong heretofore. We are in 
favor of the rights of the State, as well as of the General Govern- 
ment ; we are in favor of local self-government, as well as of the na- 
tional jurisdiction within its proper sphere. 

While we thus meet as a political organization it is not for partisan 
purposes. We can best serve our country in this relationship. The 
President of the United States will bear witness that he has not 
been pressed or embarrassed by us. We have loyally responded to 
every call made on us by constituted authority. We have obeyed all 
orders to re-enforce our armies. When we were in power we denounc- 
ed the higher-law doctrine — the principle that men might set up their 
wills against the statutes of the land — as treasonable. We denounced 
it when uttered by Northern men ; we are combating it when it is 
asserted by the rebellious South. We repudiate it by submitting to 
every demand of our Government made within the limits of rightful 
jurisdiction. This obedience has not been constrained, but cheerfully 
rendered, even in support of a party and policy to which we are op- 
posed. We have struggled to sustain not only the letter but the spirit 
of our laws. We feel that we have set an example of loyalty that 
will not be lost upon those opposed, to . us. Having done our duty, 
we now demand our rights, and we shall at this time sit in calm and 
fearless judgment upon the conduct of our rulers. Ours shall not be 
the language of discord and violence. We deplore the passionate and 
vindictive assaults of leading Republican journals upon those holding 
civil or military stations. Above all, we protest, in behalf of our coun- 
try's honor and dignity, against their insubordinate and disrespectful 
language toward the President of these United States. Such lan- 
guage wrecks the authority of Government, and tends to anarchy and 
public disorder. 

For another reason, we cannot disband our organization. No other 
party can save this country. It alone has clearly-defined purposes and. 
well-settled principles. It has been well said in our Congressional 
Address, that under its guidance, 

" Prom five millions, the population increased to thirty millions. The Revolutionary 
debt was extinguished. Two foreign wars were successfully prosecuted, with a 
moderate outlay and small army and navy, and without one suspension of the habeas 
corpus ; without one infraction of the Constitution ; without one usurpation of power ; 
without suppressing a single newspaper ; without imprisoning a single editor ; with- 
out limit to the freedom of the press, or of speech, in or out of Congress, but in the 
midst of the grossest abuse of both, and without the arrest of a single ' traitor,' though 
the Hartford Convention sat during one of the wars, and in the other senators invited 
the enemy to ' Greet our volunteers with bloody hands and welcome them to hos- 
pitable graves I ' 

;l During all this time wealth increased, business of all kinds multiplied, prosperity 
smiled on every side, taxes were low, wages were high, the North and the South 
furnished a market for each other's products at good prices, public liberty was secure, 
private rights undisturbed ; every man's house was his castle ; the courts were open 
to all ; no passports for travel, no secret police, no spies, no informers, no bastiles ; 
the right to assemble peaceably, the right to petition ; freedom of religion, freedom 
of speech, a free ballot, and a free press ; and all this time the Constitution main- 
tained and the Union of the States preserved." 



On the other hand, the very character of the Republican organiza- 
tion makes it incapable of conducting the affairs of the Govern- 
ment. For a series of years, it has practised a system of coalitions 
with men differing in principle, until it can have no distinctive policy. 
In such chaotic masses, the violent have most control. They have 
been educating their followers for years, through the press, not to 
obey laws which did not accord with their views. How can they de- 
mand submission from whole communities, while they contend that 
individuals may oppose laws opposed to their consciences? They are 
higher law men. They insist that the contest in which we are en- 
gaged is an irrepressible one, and that therefore the South could not 
avoid it, uniess they were willing at the outset to surrender all that 
Abolitionists demanded. To declare that this contest is irrepressible, 
declares that our fathers formed a Government which could not stand. 
Are such men the proper guardians of this Government ? Have not 
their speeches and acts given strength' to the rebellion, and have they 
not also enabled its leaders to prove to their deluded followers that 
the contest was an irrepressible one ? 

But their leaders have not only asserted that this contest was irre- 
pressible, unless the South would give up what extreme Republicans 
demand (their local institutions), but those in power have done much 
to justify this rebellion in the eyes of the world. The guilt of rebel- 
lion is determined by the character of the government against which 
it is arrayed. The right of revolution, in the language of President 
Lincoln, is a sacred right when exerted against a bad government. 

We charge that this rebellion is most wicked because it is against 
the best government that ever existed. It is the excellence of our 
Government that makes resistance a crime. Rebellion is not necessa- 
rily wrong. It may be an act of the highest virtue — it may be one of 
the deepest depravity. The rebellion of our fathers is our proudest 
boast — the rebellion of our brothers is the humiliation of our nation — 
is our national disgrace. To resist a bad government is patriotism — 
to resist a good one is the greatest guilt. The first is patriotism,- the 
last is treason. Legal tribunals can only regard resistance of laws as 
a crime, but in the forura of public sentiment the character of the 
government will decide if the act is treason or patriotism. 

Our Government and its administration are different things ; but in 
the eyes of the civilized world, abuses, weakness, or folly in the con- 
duct of affairs go far to justify resistance. I have read to you the 
testimony of Messrs. Greeley, Weed, Bryant, Raymond, and Marble, 
charging fraud,' corruption, outrage, and incompetency upon those in 
power. Those who stand up to testify to the incompetency of these 
representatives of a discordant party to conduct the affairs of our 
Government are politically opposed to us. Bear in mind that the 
embarrassments of President Lincoln grow out of the conflicting 
views' of his political friends, and their habits and principles of insubor- 
dination. His hands would be strengthened by a democratic victory, 
and if his private prayers are answered we will relieve him from the 
pressure of philanthropists who thirst for blood, and who call for the 
extermination of the men, women, and children of the South. The 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 53 

•brutal and bloody language of partisan editors and political preachers 
have lost us the sympathy of the civilized world in a contest where 
all mankind should be upon our side. 

Turning to the legislative departments of our Government, what do 
we see ? In the history of the decline and fall of nations, there are 
no more striking displays of madness and folly. The assemblage of 
Congress throws gloom over the nation ; its continuance in session is 
more disastrous than defeat upon the battle-field. It excites alike 
alarm and disffust. 

The public are disappointed in the results of the war. This is owing 
to the differing objects of the people on the one hand, and of the 
fanatical agitators in and out of Congress on the other. In the army, 
the Union men of the North and South battle side by side, under one. 
flag, to put down rebellion and uphold the Union and Constitution. 
In Congress a fanatical majority make war on the Union men of the 
South and strengthen the hands of Secessionists by words and acts 
which enable them to keep alive the flames of civil -war. What is 
done on the battle-field by the blood and treasure of the people, is 
undone by senators. Half of the time is spent in factious measures 
designed to destroy all confidence in the Government at the South, 
and the rest in annoying our army, in meddling with its operations, 
embarrassing our generals, and in publishing undigested and unfounded 
scandal. One party is seeking to bring about peace, the other to keep 
alive hatred and bitterness by interferences. They prove the wisdom 
of Solomon, when he said : " It is an honor to a man to cease from 
strife, but every fool will be meddling." 

This war cannot be brought to a successful conclusion, or our country 
restored to an honorable peace, under the Republican leaders, for 
another reason. Our disasters are mainly due to the fact that they 
have not dared to tell the truth to the community. A system of 
misrepresentation had been practised so long and so successfully that 
when the war burst upon us they feared to let the people know its 
full proportions, and they persisted in assuring their friends it was 
but a passing excitement. They still asserted that the South was 
unable to maintain and carry on a war. They denounced as a traitor 
every man who tried to tell the truth and to warn our people of the 
magnitude of the contest. ' 

Now, my Republican friends, you know that the misapprehensions 
of the North with regard to the South have drenched the land with 
blood. Was this ignorance accidental ? I appeal to you, Republicans, 
if for years past, through the press and in publications which have 
been urged upon your attention by the leaders of j r onr party, you 
have not been taught to despise the power and resources of the South ? 
I appeal to you to say if this teaching has not been a part of the 
machinery by which power has been gained ? I appeal to you to 
answer if those who tried to teach truths now admitted have not been 
denounced ? I appeal to you if a book, beyond all others false, bloody, 
and treasonable, was not sent out with the indorsement of all your 
managers ; and is it not true that now, when men blush to own they 
believed its statements, its author is honored by an official station ? 
It is now freely confessed by you all, that you have been deceived 
with respect to the South. Who deceived you? Who, by false 
teachings, instilled contempt and hate into the minds of our people ? 


Who stained our land with blood ? Who caused ruin and distress ? 
All these things are within your own knowledge. Are their authors 
the leaders to rescue us from our calamities? They shrink back 
appalled from the mischief they have wrought, and tell you it is an 
irrepressible contest*. That reason is as good for Jefferson Davis as 
for them. They attempt to drown reflections by new excitements and 
new appeals to our passions. Having already, in legislation, gone far 
beyond the limits at which, by their resolutions, they were pledged 
to stop, they now ask to adopt measures which they have heretofore 
denounced as unjust and unconstitutional. For this reason they cannot 
save our country. 

As our national calamities thicken upon us, an attempt is made by 
their authors to avoid their responsibilities by insisting that our failures 
are due to the fact that their measures are not carried out, although 
Government has already gone far beyond its pledges. The demands 
of these men will never cease, simply because they hope to save 
themselves from condemnation by having unsatisfied demands. At 
the last session Congress not only abolished slavery in the District of 
Columbia, but, to quiet clamorous men, an act of confiscation and 
emancipation was passed, which, in the opinion of leading Republicans, 
was unconstitutional and unjust. By this act the rebels have no 
property — not even their own lives — and they own no slaves. But, 
to the astonishment and disgust of those who believe in the policy of 
statutes and proclamations, these rebels still live, and fight, and hold 
their slaves. These measures seem to have reanimated them. They 
have a careless and reckless way of appropriating their lives and 
property, which by act of Congress belong to us, in support of their 

But these fanatical men have learned that it is necessary to win a 
victory before they divide the spoil — and what do they now propose ? 
As they cannot take the property of rebels beyond their reach, they 
will take the property of the loyal men of the border States. The 
violent men of this party, as you know from experience, my conser- 
vative Republican friend, in the end have their way. They now 
demand that the President shall issue a proclamation of immediate 
and universal emancipation ! Against whom is this to be directed ? 
Not against those in rebellion, for they come within the scope of the 
act of Congress. It can only be applied to those who have been true 
to our Union and our flag. They are to be punished for their loyalty. 
When we consider their sufferings and their cruel wrongs at the hands 
of the Secessionists, their reliance upon our faith, is not this "proposal 
black with ingratitude ? 

The scheme for an immediate emancipation and general arming of 
the slaves throughout the South is a proposal for the butchery of 
women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, of arson and 
murder, unparalleled in the history of the world. The horrors of the 
French Revolution would become tame in comparison. Its effect 
would not be confined to the walls of cities, but there would be a 
wide-spread scene of horror over the vast expanse of great States, 
involving alike the loyal and seditious. Such malignity and cowardice 
would invoke the interference of civilized Europe. History tells us 
of the fires kindled in the name of religion, of atrocities committed 
under pretexts of order or liberty ; but it is now urged that scenes 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 55 

bloodier than the world has yet seen shall be enacted in the name of 
philanthropy ! 

A proclamation of general and armed emancipation at this time, 
would be a cruel wrong to the African. It is now officially declared 
in Presidential addresses, which are fortified by Congressional action, 
that the negro cannot live in the enjoyment of the full privileges of 
life among the white race. It is now admitted, after our loss of 
infinite blood and treasure, that the great problem we have to settle 
is liot slavery, but the negro question. A terrible question, not 
springing from statutes or usages, but growing out of the unchangeable 
distinctions of race. It is discovered at this late day, in republican 
Illinois, that it is right to drive him from its soil. It is discovered by 
a republican Congress, after convulsing our country with declarations 
in favor of his equal rights, and asserting that he was merely the 
victim of unjust laws, that he should be sent away from our land. The 
issue is now changed. The South holds that the African is fit to live 
here as a slave. Our republican Government denies that he is fit to 
live here at all. 

The Republican party cannot save the country, because through its 
powerful press it teaches contempt for the laws, Constitution, and con- 
stituted authorities. They are not only destroying the Union, but 
they are shaking and weakening the whole structures of State as well 
as of the National Government, by denunciations of every law and of 
all authority that stand in the way of their passions or their purposes. 
They have not only carried discord into our churches and legislative 
halls, but into our armies. Every general who agrees with them 
upon the subject of slavery is upheld in every act of insubordination, 
and sustained against the clearest proofs of incompetence, if not of 
corruption. On the other hand, every commander who differs from 
their views upon the single point of slavery, is denounced not only 
for incompetency, but constantly depreciated in every act. No man 
is allowed to be a Christian ; no man is regarded as a statesman ; no 
man is suffered unmolested to do his duty as a soldier, unless he sup- 
ports measures which no one dared to urge eighteen months since. 
They insist that martial law is superior to constitutional law, that the 
wills of generals in the field are above all restraints ; but they demand 
for themselves the right to direct and control these generals. They 
claim an influence higher than they will allow to the laws of the land. 
Are these displays of insubordination and violence safe at this 
time ? 

The weight of annual taxation will test severely the loyalty 
of the people of the North. Repudiation of our financial 
obligations would cause disorder and endless moral evils. Pecu- 
niary rights will never be held more sacred than personal rights. 
Repudiation of the Constitution involves repudiation of Na- 
tional debts, of its guarantees of rights of property, of person, 
and of conscience. The moment we show the world that we do not 
hold the Constitution to be a sacred compact, we not only destroy 
all sense of security, but we turn away from our shores the vast tide 
of foreign immigration. It comes here now not because there are not 
other skies as bright and other lands as productive as ours. It seeks 
here security for freedom — for rights of conscience— for immunity from 
tyrannical interferences, and from meddling impertinence. The home 


and fireside rights heretofore enjoyed by the American people—en- 
joyed under protection of a written Constitution, have made us great 
and prosperous. I entreat you again, touch them, not with sacrilegious 
hands ! We are threatened with the breaking up of our social sys- 
tem, with the overthrow of State and National Governments. 
If we begin a war upon the compromises of the Constitution, we must 
go through with it. It contains many restraints upon our natural 
rights. It may be asked, by what right do the six small New Eng- 
land States, with a population less than that of New York, have six 
times its power in the Senate, which has become the controlling 
branch of Government? By what natural right do these States, with 
their small united populations and limited territories, balance the 
power of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Mich- 
igan ? The vast debt growing out of this war will give rise to new 
and angry discussions. It will be held almost exclusively in a few 
Atlantic States. Look upon the map of the Union and see how small 
is the territory in which it will be owned. We are to be divided 
into creditor and debtor. States, and the last will have a vast prepon- 
derance of power and strength. Unfortunately there is no taxation 
upon this national debt, and its share is thrown off upon other prop- 
erty. It is held where many of the Government contracts have been 
executed, and where in some instances gross frauds have been prac- 
tised. It is held largely where the Constitution gives a dispropor- 
tionate share of political power. With all these elements of discord, 
is it wise to assail constitutional law, or bring authority into contempt ? 
Is it safe to encourage the formation of irresponsible committees, made 
up of impertinent men, who thrust themselves into the conduct of pub- 
lic affairs, and try to dictate to legal rulers ? Or will you tolerate the 
enrolment of armies which are not constituted or organized by proper 
authoiities ? Are such things just toward those who have placed 
their fortunes in the hands of the Government at this crisis ? 

We implore you, do not be deceived again with this syren song of 
no danger. There is danger, groat and imminent, of the destruction 
of all government, of safety for life and property, unless the duty of 
obedience to law, and respect for authorities, and the honest support 
of those in the public service, both military and civil, are taught and 
enforced, by all means within our control. 

With us there is no excuse for revolutionary action. Our system 
of government gives peaceful remedies for all evils in legislation. 


Me. Pbesident : — It will be asked, what do we propose to do ? We 
mean, with all our powers of mind and person, to support the Con- 
stitution and uphold the Union ; to maintain the laws, to preserve the 
public faith. We insist upon obedience to laws and respect for 
constitutional authority; we will defend the rights of citizens; we 
mean that rulers and subjects shall respect the laws ; we will 
put down all revolutionary committees; we will resist all un- 
authorized organizations of armed men ; we will spurn officious 
meddlers who are impudently pushing themselves into the councils of 
our Government. Politically opposed to those in authority, we demand 
they shall be treated with the respect due to their positions as the 

ALBANY, SEPT. 10, 1862. 57 

representatives of the dignity and honor of the American people. 
We do not try to save our country by abandoning its Government. In 
these times of trial and danger we cling more closely to the great prin- 
ciples of civil and religious liberty and of personal right ; we will man 
the defences and barriers which the Constitution throws around them; 
we will revive the courage and strengthen the arms of loyal men by 
showing them they have a living Government about which to rally ; 
we will proclaim amidst the confusion and uproar of civil war, with 
louder tones and firmer voices, the great maxims and principles of 
civil liberty, order, and obedience. "What has perpetuated the great- 
ness of that nation from which we derive so many of our maxims ? 
Not its victories upon land nor its triumphs upon the seas, but its 
firm adherence to its traditional policy. The words of Coke, of 
Camden, and Mansfield, have for long periods of time given strength 
and vitality and honor to its social system, while battles have lost 
their significance. When England was agitated by the throes of 
violence — when the person of the king was insulted ; when parliament 
was besieged by mobs maddened by bigotry ; when the life of Lord 
Mansfield was sought by infuriated fanatics, and his house was 
burned by incendiary fires, then he uttered those words which 
checked at once unlawful power and lawless violence. He declared 
that every citizen was entitled to his rights according to the known 
procedures of the land. He showed to the world the calm and awful 
majesty of the law, unshaken amidst convulsions. Self-reliant in its 
strength and purity, it was driven to no acts which destroy the 
spirit of law. Violence was rebuked, the heart of the nation was 
reassured, a sense of security grew up, and the storm was stilled. 
Listen to his words : 

" Miserable is the condition of individuals ; dangerous is the condition of the state 
where there is no certain law, or what is the same thing, no certain administration 
of law, by which individuals may be protected and the state made secure." 

Thus, too, will we stand calmly up amidst present disasters. We 
have warned the public that every act of disobedience weakened their 
claims to protection. We have admonished our rulers that every 
violation of right destroyed sentiments of loyalty and duty. That 
obedience and protection were reciprocal obligations. He who 
withholds his earnest and cheerful support to any legal demand of his 
government, invites oppression and usurpation on the part of those 
in authority. The public servant who oversteps, his jurisdiction, or 
tramples upon the rights, person, property or procedure of the 
governed, instigates resistance and revolt. 

Under abuse and detraction we have faithfully acted upon these 
precepts. If our purposes were factious, the elements of disorder are 
everywhere within our reach. If we Were as disobedient to this 
Government and as denunciatory of its officials as those who placed 
them in power, we could make them tremble in their seats of power. 
We have been obedient, loyal, and patient. We shall continue to be 
so under all circumstances. But let no man mistake this devotion to 
our country and its Constitution for unworthy fear. We have no 
greater stake in good order than other men. ( Our arms are as strong, 
our endurance as' great, our fortitude as unwavering as that of our 
political opponents. But we seek the blessings, of peace, of law, of 


order. We ask the public to mark our policy and our position. 
Opposed to the election of Mr. Lincoln, we have loyally sustained 
him. Differing from the Administration as to the course and the 
conduct of the war, we have cheerfully responded to every demand 
made upon us. To-day we are putting forth our utmost efforts to 
re-enforce our armies in the field. Without conditions or threats we 
are exerting our energies to strengthen the hands of Government, and 
to replace it in the commanding position it held in the eyes of the 
world before recent disasters. We are pouring out our blood, our 
treasures, and our men, to rescue it from a position in which it can 
neither propose peace nor conduct successful war. And this support 
is freely and generously accorded. We wish to see our Union saved, 
our laws vindicated, and peace once more restored to our Jand. We 
do not claim more virtue or intelligence than we award to our 
opponents, but we now have the sad and bloody proof that we act 
upon sounder principles of government. Animated by the motto we 
have placed upon our banner — " The Union, the Constitution, and the 
Laws " — we go into the political contest confident of the support of a 
people who cannot be deaf or blind to the teachings of the last two 

Mr. Seymour at the Democratic Ratification Meeting, 
Cooper Institute, New York, October 13, 1862. 

Republican Attacks considered — Party Epithets illustrated — The Speaker's 
War Record — The Record of Republican Leaders' — Mr. Seymour and Mr. 
Tremaine — Daniel S. Dickinson — Efforts to suppress Free Speech — The 
Objects of the Republicans — Democratic Purposes — Justice to Officials — 
Radicalism against Conservatism — Tendency of Radical Policy — The 
Committee on the Conduct of the War — Tendency to Violence and Dis- 
order — Drifting toward Revolution — Our Home Duties — The Democratic 

Fellow-Citizens : — At this day of our country's calamities, when 
war is carrying mourning into the homes of all classes of citizens — 
when its burdens and its sacrifices fall upon all alike, without regard 
to differences of opinion or creeds — we look for earnest, thoughtful, 
but temperate discussions of the great questions which are forced up- 
on our consideration. But we find the solemnity of the public 
mind is disturbed by bitter • denunciations and epithets. Men who 
have given their sons to the service of their country, and many who 
mourn over the loss of those closely bound to them by the ties of na- 
ture, are denounced as traitors. There are men now languishing with 
wounds received upon the battle-field, who come within the terms of 
this abuse. It is natural that those who, under such circumstances, 
go forth from stricken homes, as well as those who have largely aided, 
by their exertions and contributions, to uphold their country's flag, 
should feel tempted to punish those who brand them with disloyalty. 

But let me, with respect to these attacks, call your attention to 
some facts which should make us calm and temperate, as well as firm 
and resolved, in these discussions. In the first place, a majority of 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 13, 1862. 59 

those opposed to us are mortified with these exhibitions of rudeness 
and petulance, and feel the ridicule which it brings upon their organ- 
ization. Here is one of their outbursts : — 

" Resolved : That every vote given for James S. Wadsworth, is a vote for loyalty, and 
every vote given for Horatio Seymour, is a vote for treason." 

Before you make haste to get this honorary degree of patriotism, 
let us see what prompts these railing accusations. You must bear in 
mind they come from men who lie upon uneasy beds ; from those 
who mocked when we warned them of impending calamities ; from 
those who stigmatized us as sympathizers with treason, when we im- 
plored them not to underrate the power with which we were combat- 
ing. They quail when the fearful and bloody consequences of their 
mistakes rise up before them, but they lack the courage and manhood 
to confess their errors. In petulant terms they denounce us, not because 
they are dissatisfied with us, but because they are dissatisfied with 
themselves. They burst into railing simply because our presence 
recalls the past, and stirs up unpleasant memories of their falsified 
predictions, and of their calamitous ignorance. The flush upon their 
cheeks is not that of indignation, it is the blush of shame. The harsh 
epithet is the mode in which weak and disingenuous minds express 
their discomfiture. We, who, amidst the calamities of the day, can 
look calmly back upon our past policy, must make large allowance for 
those who cannot. 

Before we suffer ourselves to be irritated by the epithet " traitor," 
we must see what these truculent men mean by the term. In show- 
ing this, I will avail myself of an illustration which enables me to 
speak of the radical candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor, 
— a gentleman who stands second upon that ticket, but is made fore- 
most in this canvass. As he has devoted himself to attacks upon me, 
it might seem discourteous if I did not allude to him. They say that 
he is a patriot, and that I am a traitor. Why ? Less than two years 
since, we were members of a convention called to avert, if possible, 
the calamities of civil war. At its opening I urged the duty of sub- 
mitting to the people a plan of conciliation. Earnestly, imploringly, 
but respectfully, I entreated those who had triumphed at the late 
election, to save our country and spare its blood. I did not justify 
nor palliate rebellion, as I have ever opposed the doctrine of a higher 
law which teaches that we may resist law or oppose authority, pro- 
vided our opinion, Or passion, or prejudice inclines us to do so. I 
stated my purpose to yield to the mandate of those who had a right 
to decide, in these words : — 

" To do this we must have unity of action ; all must agree to submit to some tribunal. 
The present difficulties have sprung into existence since the last popular election ; they 
have taken the whole community by surprise, and conflicting views are held with 
regard to the proper time of action. To secure this union of purpose, for one, I am in 
favor of making an appeal to the Republicans and to the Legislature of this State, to 
submit the proposition of Senator Crittenden to the vote of the people of New York ; 
if it is approved, then we will exert ourselves to secure an adjustment upon that basis ; 
if on the other hand it is rejected, then we shall kDOW that the people of this State 
are opposed to the policy of compromise and conciliation." 

Upon the following day Mr. Tremaine addressed the conveptionin 
terms of bitter reproach against the Republican party, and said : 
"But, gentlemen, while I do not justify secession in the abstract, we must not for- 


get that the South has had the moat terrible provocation to which civilized man has 
ever been subjected." 

Again : 

" I would like this convention to take up those and other measures tending toward 
conciliation and peace, and wish to say that, traitorous though it may be, I stand here 
to oppose the policy of war with the South, now, hereafter, and forever." 

I aver that I sought in my speech to induce a triumphant majority 
to act with moderation and magnanimity, and to avert this war. I 
charge that the speech of Mr. Tremaine was calculated to encourage 
the Secessionists of the South to go on with their rebellion. It is 
said my speech was traitorous. I challenge the Republicans to publish 
it in full. If the charge is not false, they can convict me of treason- 
able purposes. I dare them to publish the speech of Mr. Tremaine. 
I ask that both may be laid before this people, and let them decide 
between us. We seek an inquiry. But let me go on in my explana- 
tion of these terms— -" traitor " and "patriot." When the war began 
by an attack made at Sumter, and the President called forth the 
armed strength of the country, I was at the capital of a western State. 
The Legislature was in session, and many of its members, who, with 
myself, had opposed the election of Mr. Lincoln, and deplored the 
rejection of any measures which would allow the people to speak be- 
fore their homes should be made desolate, and their blood poured 
forth in an unnatural conflict, consulted with me as to the course of 
duty. We all agreed there was but one pathway to follow ; upon its 
guide-posts were written " obedience to laws ;" " respect for authori- 
ties ;" " The Union and the Constitution." We felt that a prompt 
and cheerful response must be made to legal demands of State and 
National authorities, whether they were agreeable to us or not. In 
this spirit they acted, and high Republican officials expressed thjeir 
obligations to me ; yet I claim no merits. Those friends who did me 
the honor to consult with me would have acted as they did if we had 
never met, for we all had been taught the duty of loyalty in the same 
great and common school of Democracy. I was gratified that, while 
I was in a remote part of the great West, it was in my power to pro- 
mote the formation of a company of as bold and as sturdy men as 
ever rallied in defence of our country's flag. I recall with pride their 
array when, drawn up before my lodging, they expressed through 
their commander, their good-will toward myself, and their obliga- 
tions for such assistance as I had been able to give them. 

But the guns which struck down the nation's flag at Sumter, and 
rang through the legislative halls of the West, also thundered at the 
capital of our State. The Governor of New, York called for grantB 
of money. I charge that Mr. Tremaine, who rejoices in the honorary 
degree of " patriot," conferred by a partisan assemblage, labored 
earnestly, and into the deep hours of night, to persuade members to 
vote against the aid thus called for by the constitutional authorities. 

When I returned to my home in the autumn of 1861, I found that 
the president of the last Republican State Convention was speaking 
in terms of contempt and reproach of Mr. Lincoln, whom he had aided 
to place in power. Nay, more, he threatened a violent overthrow of 
this Administration. Seditious language was not confined to his 
journal. The tone of the Republican press was in the highest degree 
disrespectful toward the National authorities. I made an address to 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 13, 1862. 61 

my townsmen, which was extensively republished throughout the 
State, in which I gave my views of the duties of citizens toward our 
Government in the conduct of this war. I did not then labor under 
any supposed personal anxiety with respect to the results of an elec- 
tion in its effects upon myself. I rebuked the spirit of insubordina- 
tion in these words : 

" First, and above all, we are to show obedience to the constituted authorities, and 
devotion and respect for legal and constitutional obligations. We are admonished by- 
Washington 'that respect for the authority of government, compliance with its laws, 
and acquiescence with its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of 
true liberty.' The very idea of the power and rights of the people to establish govern- 
ments, presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. 
The primal sin of disobedience is not only the immediate cause of this war, but its 
spirit has also sapped and weakened the foundations of our Municipal, State, and Na- 
tional authority throughout every part of our land. It is the great, underlying cause of 
all our calamities. The spirit of disobedience permeates our social system; it renders 
law powerless, and strips men of their rights, and of due protection to their persons and 
property. Obedience is the basis of all family, political, and religious organizations. It 
is the principle of cohesion that holds society together, without which it crumbles into 

I stated my views with regard to the support of the war as fol- 

" We owe other duties to our Government. We must strengthen its armies, and fur- 
nish it with means to conduct this war to a successful issue. The day has gone by 
for efforts to avert it. When the American people refused to live together in the spirit 
of the Constitution, when they rejected all adjustment of controversies, they made the 
sword the only arbiter. Consistency demands that we who strove to avert the war 
should now strive to make it productive of those ends which we sought to reach by 
peaceful measures. All theories of government — that of centralization or that of State 
rights — require that we should stand by the standards of our Government and the 
standards of our State in the battle-field." 

I challenge the Republican journals to publish that speech made one 
year since — not garbled extracts, not detached sentences, which may 
be perverted, but as a whole. It will occupy but a little of that space 
which is now given to indiscriminate abuse and obloquy. And here 
let me say that, in this contest we are trying to lay our records before 
the people, that we may be judged, not alone by language used amid 
the excitement of this contest, but by our warnings, our entreaties, 
our arguments during the past three years. On the other hand, not 
only Mr. Tremaine, but those who were with him, are denouncing us 
as traitors, and trying to hide away from the public eye their utter- 
ances and their predictions. 

At the last session of our Legislature I delivered an address at the 
capital with respect to our State and national defences. At its con- 
clusion the Governor did me the honor to introduce a resolution 
thanking me for its sentiments, which he declared to be patriotic and 

In the progress of the war our army before Richmond was sacri- 
ficed by meddling and intrigue. A partisan policy was cemented by 
the blood of our soldiers. At a numerous meeting of leading Demo- 
crats, then held at the capitol of our State, I introduced a resolution 
that it was our duty, that we were bound by honor and patriotism, to 
send immediate relief to our brethren in the field. A terror-stricken 
press, that now riots in calumny, hailed this resolution with gratitude 
and praise. At the request of the adjutant-general I named a commit- 


lee to get volunteers in the senatorial district in which I live, and at 
his request I was placed at its head, although I advised him that con- 
tinued absence from my home and neglect of my affairs made it a 
great sacrifice to give my attention to its duties. While I was thus 
engaged, acting harmoniously with this committee, a majority of 
whom were politically opposed to me, and when, by its exertion, and 
the patriotic assistance of the citizens of Oneida, the fifth regiment 
was added to the number which had gone from that county since the 
beginning of this war ; and when I had addressed eight or ten public 
meetings, notwithstanding the pressure of my duties — more meetings 
than I shall address in behalf of the ticket upon which my name is placed 
— and while I was receiving the gratulations of Republicans, against 
my wishes, I was placed in nomination for the office of Governor. 
From that moment I have been denounced as a traitor. A nomina- 
tion having been given to Mr. Tremaine at another convention, from 
that moment he has been called a patriot. Why these terms applied 
to us ? Simply, because I adhere to a party which I conscientiously 
believe can save this country, and which I have always supported; and 
simply because Mr. Tremaine has been " suitably rewarded" by a 
party he has always denounced and opposed. It may be severe to call 
me a traitor, but is it not cruel to call Mr. Tremaine a patriot ? 

Let me here say, in justice to the Governor and military authorities 
of New York, with whom I have co-operated, that I do not doubt 
they hear these epithets applied to me with mortification and regret. 

Before you go into the patriotic line of business under such auspices, 
you must see not only what you must be, but what you must do. 
You are to lay aside all sense of shame, of honor, of consistency. 
Mr. Tremaine, after the withdrawal of six States from the Union in 
1861, uttered the following sentiments: 

"And when they find the Government turned into an engine of war and oppression — 
make the case your own — and then when you make all proper allowances for the fact 
that our Southern friends are more impulsive than we, that they live under a warmer 
sun, and act more from impulse than the cooler, calculating Yankee sons of the North, 
I ask whether they are doing very differently from what human nature would do any- 
where under such circumstances ? " 

I pray you will notice this extract, Mr. Noyes. On Friday last you 
denounced in bitter terms the revilers of New England. Last week, 
in the meeting at which you presided, in the face of a multitude, Mr. 
Tremaine said : 

" Allow me, then, gentlemen, to state in a few words that I am, from the crown of my 
head to the soles of my feet, perpendicularly, horizontally and diagonally, in every emo- 
tion of my mind, and every faculty and pulsation of my heart, unreservedly and also 
unconditionally a Union war Democrat, standing upon the platform of war. war. war to 
the knife, till this rebellion is crushed." 

From this exhibition of Tremaine, I advise you, if you have dealings 
with that gentleman, not to understand him perpendicularly, but di- 
agonally — very diagonally. 

After making a speech in 1861, which he does not repeat, and 
which his friends dare not publish, he attempts to procure a suppres- 
sion of my address and of the freedom of debate, by an appeal, not to 
the people whose suffrages he seeks, but to the tomb, from which he 
knows no answer can come: 

" Suppose that Andrew Jackson were President, and that the rebellion, instead of 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. T., OCT. 13, 1862. 63 

having originated in South Carolina, had originated in Massachusetts — the people of 
that State declaring that they would not remain in the Union while slavery was organ- 
ized ; and suppose that, when the State of New York was called upon to aid the Gov- 
ernment, Horatio Seymour had made a speech, devoting three columns to denouncing 
the Government, and giving encouragement to the rebels, would a single Democrat have 
permitted such treasonable doctrines to be uttered ? " 

Such an appeal to the dead hero and statesman to induce the Gov- 
ernment to do an unconstitutional and cowardly act, is profanation. 
I appeal to this living, intelligent people, to sit in judgment upon that 
speech. In every form and shape we try to lay it before yon ; while 
he who denounces it calls for despotic exercise of power, to shut your 
eyes and close your ears, and at the same moment asks your support 
and suffrages. It is well to mark those who urge a violation of per- 
sonal rights. 

But there is another unworthy office in which you must engage to 
save yourselves from the epithet of traitor. It is suspicious to find 
men anxious to learn what money goes into the treasury, who are 
violently agitated when we inqure who takes it out. They deem it 
pertinent to ask who gives money ; but impertinent to ask who gets 
money from Government. Upon that point they demand a suppression 
of free speech, upon the ground that it diverts attention from the 
South, or some other distant object. 

It is alleged that I have given nothing to our volunteers or their 
families. I have not deemed it necessary, heretofore, to notice this 
base falsehood, and I only allude to it now because it is circulated by 
one who should inform himself with regard to statements he indorses. 
If he cares to know the truth, he can call upon me and learn what I 
have done, and he is then at liberty, if he sees fit, to proclaim his con- 
clusions to the world. I say this, that he may do himself, not me, jus- 
tice. I have given, to procure volunteers, such sums as I deemed 
liberal on my part. I never have, or never shall, parade before the 
world my contribution to any purpose. What I have given to the 
public treasury, or what Mr. Wadsworth has received from it, are not 
considerations fit to be named at this moment, when the greatest and 
gravest questions that ever agitated the minds of a people should be 
earnestly discussed. For another reason, I shall not, in this contest, 
notice personal attacks. It has been given out that a constant series 
of assaults will be made, with a view of diverting the attention of 
myself and friends from the evils it is our duty to lay bare. The in- 
genious device will not succeed. 

An afflicted, thoughtful, and patriotic people ask an earnest inquiry 
into the causes and history of our calamities, and they are met with 
threats of violence, arrest, and imprisonment, because the authors of 
our miseries shrink from the scrutiny. I have alluded to one of the 
speakers at the meeting held at this place on Wednesday last. When 
the president of that assemblage listened complacently to the sug- 
gestion of Mr. Tremaine — who, after vainly attempting to answer my 
speech, called for its suppression — he was acting consistently with his 
history. I remember him as one of those who violently broke up an 
abolition meeting, and drove it out of the church in which it met. I 
protested against that act. Mr. Noyes has a right to change his 
views; but penitence should make men modest, not abusive. If it 
does not teach him courtesy in the use of terms, he should learn a 


little skill in their application. After stating that the Democratic 
party was broken into fragments at Charleston by a band of traitors 
and conspirators, he goes on to say that the worst of traitors are the 
conspirators now in arms against the country, headed by their can- 
didate for President. He then, in malice or ignorance, introduced to 
his audience the Hon. D. S. Dickinson, who advised his friends to go 
with the Secessionists into the Richmond Convention, and who sup- 
ported Mr. Breckinridge at the last presidential election. Mr. Dick- 
inson also addressed meetings with William L. Yancey, and gave 
countenance to his declaration that the South ought to withdraw from 
the Union in the event of Mr. Lincoln's election. Since that event, in 
a speech published under his supervision, he said : 

" AH the paper laws we have — all the strength, force, and power of the Constitution, 
the army and navy, the national legislature, and the executive power of the govern- 
ment, are not worth a single rush to compel a State to remain one hour in the confed- 
eracy longer than it chooses to remain." 

When, from fear, the candidates for the office of lieutenant-gov- 
ernor and the attorney-general turn informers against those who have 
been led into crime by their speeches, it is natural that mingled shame 
and fear should make them demand suppression of speech. But is it 
not a gross insult to this community to put such men forward to heap 
epithets upon your friends and neighbors, whom you do know to be 
honest, true, and loyal men ? 

Mr. Dickinson, who is in no condition to resent insults from those 
in whose hands he is now a prisoner of state, poured out his indigna- 
tion upon me. This gentleman also favors the suppression of free 
speech, and is unwilling to let the people hear what should be said 
about the conduct of public affairs. 

This effort to check any expression of the views of the people has 
marked every stage in the history of the war. Before it had assumed 
its full proportions, .when it was yet possible to arrest it, a bill was 
brought before the Legislature of New York to send commissioners 
to the peace convention at Washington. This measure was supported 
by the conservatives and opposed by the radical Republicans. The 
party was divided. The fate of the bill was in the hands of Demo- 
cratic members. They knew that Messrs. Field, Wadsworth, Noyes, 
and others, were ultra men ; but they never doubted that, acting in 
the spirit of those who confided to them this great trust, they would 
submit to the people a plan of compromise which would be satisfac- 
tory to the Union men of the border States. They were not asked 
to vote themselves for the measure, if it did not meet their views ; 
but they were asked and expected to allow the people to express 
their opinion. No plan could be adopted without the public ap- 
proval. But these agents would not let the people vote upon Mr. 
Crittenden's proposition. They took upon themselves the responsi- 
bilities of the bloody consequences of this war. They now demand 
the suppression of speech and of the press, but they shall bear the 
reproaches which will roll up from desolated homes and a sufferingland. 

Our opponents complain that at this election we do not occupy our 
attention solely with the crimes and follies of the South, as if the 
conduct of men in remote States could throw light upon the interests 
and duty of citizens of New York when engaged in choosing local 
officers and representatives. Yet those who thus assail us devote 

COOPER INSTITUTE, K Y., OCT. 13, 1862. 65 

their entire time to denunciations of conservative citizens. How 
does it happen that we have a right to attend to everybody's 
business but our own ? It is deemed proper to denounce generals 
in the field, when we can know nothing about their objects and 
necessities. It is held to be patriotic to agitate, and to press 
upon the Executive with menaces, to compel a line of policy with 
regard to the war. But when we enter upon our duties marked out 
by our Constitution and laws, and when we are required to express 
our views of the conduct of our rulers or representatives, and when 
sacred obligations rest upon us to rebuke frauds, we are told it is 
unpatriotic to call public attention to these things, as they divert the 
public mind from the conduct of citizens of other States. The gross 
personal attacks which are showered upon us are not insults to us, 
but to this community, which is anxiously considering the sad con- 
dition of our country. They are not designed to injure us, but to turn 
the public attention from frauds and wrongs. I will tell you the 
objects of these men. When you go down Broadway you will find 
powerful instruments on the corners of the streets with. which you 
can look at the wonders of the heavens. It is worth your while to 
examine them. But if you find, while you are thus engaged with 
remote objects, some person is particularly anxious to absorb your 
mind by putting forth remarkable theories about the moon and its 
inhabitants, when you return to this world you may find that your 
pocket has been picked. Intensely absorbed by our duties in up- 
holding the Government, we find, when we give a moment's thought 
to our duties here, that the treasury. has been robbed. Startled by 
offences which strike at the power of the nation to sustain its armies, 
to maintain the national faith, we begin to inquire into these offences, 
and are at once assailed by suspicious men who wish us to take only 
telescopic views. We are vehemently told that freedom of speech, 
personal liberty, honesty of administration, are not consistent with 
a vigorous prosecution of the war. The men who clamor against 
every attempt to discuss public, affairs are not the true friends of Mr. 
Lincoln or of the Administration. As much as I abhor the policy of 
Mr. Stanton, in many respects he is entitled to the gratitude of the 
nation for his fearless exposures of corruptions and frauds. 

Mr. President, under other circumstances I might repel these 
attacks with indignation. But, standing, as we do, amid the new-made 
graves of those who have died, in the morning of life, for our country ; 
seeing, on every side, those signs of bereavement which show that 
men of all classes, creed and parties, are mourning over the loss of 
kindred and friends, passion and indignation fade away in my heart. 
When I consider the magnitude of the events with which we deal, 
and the consequences of our action through all time, the little rem- 
nant of my life shrinks into nothingness, and I feel as one standing 
upon the crumbling brink of my grave. My God, who sees my heart, 
knows that I long to serve my country loyally, truthfully, and fear- 
lessly. Conscious of my liability to err, I shall treat the views of 
others with respect. Conscious of the rectitude of my purposes, I 
shall speak my opinions without reserve and without fear. 

■My B^publican friends, when we warned you in the past of coming 
danger, you laughed at our apprehensions ; but you admit to-day, if we 
had not spoken we should have been untrue to you as well as to our. 



selves. When this -war assumed its proportions, we pointed out the 
fatal error of underrating those with whom we were engaged in com- 
bat. You denounced us as sympathizers with treason ; to-day you 
admit if we had not tried to save the blood and treasure wasted by 
this fatal ignorance we should have been false to you and to our coun- 
try. Once more we come and implore yon to hear. We believe our 
nation is drifting into difficulties greater and more numerous than 
those which now surround it. We come to you with no reproaches ; 
in no spirit of arrogance, nor with any pretence of superior wisdom. 
We do not claim that we were right in the past because we were more 
intelligent or virtuous than you ; but this we do say, that we have 
acted in the affairs of our country upon those principles which you 
follow in the ordinary concerns of life as the only rules 'of conduct. 
We have clung to maxims which the wisdom of our fathers, and of 
the great and good of all countries, have taught us. We were will- 
ing to accept the teachings of experience, and the result has proved 
that we were right. Again, you are urged with regard to our laws, 
our finances, our constitutions, to break away from tried pathways, 
and to enter upon dangerous experiments. Before you do so, listen 
to our entreaties. 

In the address I made at the late State Convention I described the 
condition of our country as it was set forth by leading Republican 
journals and statesmen. Their charges of incompetency, of corrup- 
tion and error in different departments, are sustained by congressional 
and official investigations. We have no contest about facts. We are 
also agreed that these facts should be published to the world, for they 
have given them a wide circulation. But we contend that some prac- 
tical use should be made of these facts, and that we should, at this 
election, place in power those who will in some degree check the ten- 
dencies to abuse, where every branch of State and National Govern- 
ment is under the control of one party. Here we differ. I, also, in 
respectful terms, pointed out the reasons why this country could not 
be saved by an ultra party, and why it can and will be saved by our 
conservative party. I propose this night to call your attention to 
other growing evils, which particularly threaten the interest and safety 
of this great city. 

In discussing the conduct of officials, we must bear in mind that 
we are not to denounce motives because we do not agree with their 
conclusions. It is true that our Government is compelled to act 
under great embarrassments, and frequently without time for consul- 
tation or reflection. This should protect them from imputations of 
bad purposes when they err in judgment; but, on the other hand, it 
affords no reason why we should approve their errors. If we deem 
their conclusions wrong, we are bound in honor to say so ; and it is 
unreasonable to charge that, in so doing, we are unwarrantably assail- 
ing our Government. It is constantly said that, in time of war and 
confusion, abuses will creep into the administration of public affairs, 
and that large allowances must be made for the difficulties of the situa- 
tion. This is true ; but for this very reason we are also bound to ex- 
ercise unusual vigilance in guarding our rights arid our interests. 
Unusual dangers demand unusual caution. We do not, in religion, in 
morals, or in business, adopt the errors of our friends ; neither should 
we do so in public affairs. In this spirit let us look at the issue fairly 
before us. 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT 13, 1862. 67 

In the first place, who are the parties to this contest? It is not 
merely a conflict between the Democratic and Republican organiza- 
tions, but it is a struggle between the conservative and radical classes 
of our citizens. (1 use these terms because they are well understood, 
and are, also, respectful.) This was made clear in the convention 
which placed Mr. Wadsworth in nomination. Those who controlled 
that body, sought and gained a victory over their more conservative 
associates. It was a triumph nearer their hearts than any victory 
they hope to gain over us. To win it, they cheerfully put at hazard 
the success of their ticket. They did not conceal the fact that they 
demanded the nomination, because he agreed with them in their con- 
troversies with their associates in regard to the conduct and the ob- 
ject of the war, and the policy of Government. They demanded his 
nomination because, beyond most men, he held and openly expressed 
extreme opinions on those points. They say they will claim the full 
benefit of the nomination and of his election, if he is chosen, not only 
as against us, but against all views which conflict with Mr. Wads- 
worth's civil and military theories. This is fair, open, and manly. 
It makes the issues distinct, and every man knows what he indorses 
and what he condemns, what policy he builds up and what policy he 
puts down when he deposits his vote in the ballot-box. 

We will now state what aspects of the radical policy we condemn. 
We charge that it tends to disobedience and insubordination. That 
it wipes out the lines which separate different departments of govern- 
ment, and mark the limits of State and National jurisdiction, thus in- 
troducing disorder and confusion into the administration of public 
affairs. That it has produced a spirit of violence and lawlessness in 
our country. That it seeks to gain power by destroying freedom of 
speech, the sanctity of our homes, the sacredness of our persons, and 
our rights of conscience. That it makes open war upon our Consti- 
tution, and that it is a revolutionary policy. That it does not strive 
to restore the Union, but to overthrow the institutions of States. I 
will now show, briefly, but I trust, clearly, the truths of these prop- 
ositions. When you deposit your votes this fall you will not decide 
upon my interests but your own. The principles you establish you 
must live under. Compared with their vast importance a political 
victory is nothing. The authorities at Washington w r ill be influenced 
by this election in their choice of generals, and in the character of 
their public measures. 

It lends to insubordination and disobedience. Every general who 
has attempted to interfere with the civil policy of the Government, or 
who has attempted to outrun its progress, or who has embarrassed it 
by meddling with questions which did not belong to the army to 
decide, has been applauded and upheld by the radical press, and the 
radical organizations. In some instances, antagonism to the views of 
the Administration constitutes the only claim to the least distinction. 
If you look to the responses made by the Governors of the States to 
the legal demands of the President for men to sustain our armies, you 
will find that only the most radical suggest or demand conditions. 
If yon look abroad among our people you will see that for many years 
disobedience to laws has been openly taught in the pulpit and the 
press. A spirit of insubordination has permeated our whole social 
system, and is shown in National, State, and Municipal organizations. 


"When this great rebellion broke out, which is itself but avast exhibi- 
tion of the same spirit, it found acts for resistance to the laws of 
Congress upon the statute books of a large number of States ; and 
they were all placed there by the same influence. Wherever this 
spirit of radicalism has controlled, these acts of insubcrdination have 
broken out like plague-spots. Time does not permit me to enlarge 
upon the proofs of this, but every one who will take up the subjects, 
or who will look at the tone of its press, will see this spirit shown in 
the efforts to press upon the President a policy in terms _ menacing 
and disrespectful. Even the President of the late Republican State 
Convention threatened the Administration. On the 23d of April, 
1861, he said: — 

"Let every one consider the present popular feeling, and ask himself whether the 
Administration adequately represents and embodies it. The men to incarnate this 
feeling and to stand forth as its type, the occasion is yet to iring forth." 

Again, on the 24th : 

" The President runs no small risk of being superseded in his office if he under- 
takes to thwart the clear and manifest determination of the people to maintain the 
authority of the Government of the United States, and to protect its honor. We 
are in the midst of a revolution, and in such emergencies the people are very apt to 
find some representative leader, if the forms of law do not happen to have given 
them one. It will be well for Mr. Lincoln to bear in mind the possibility of such an 

So far as this small rebellion is concerned, when it lifts itself up 
against the President, he has but to give the command, and your 
strong arms will dispose of the matter without calling our soldiers 
back from the Potomac. 

The radical policy effaces the lines which separate the jurisdiction 
of State and -National Government, and limits the actions of differ- 
ent departments. 

In his farewell address, George Washington left his solemn 
warning : 

" It is important, likewise, that the habit of thinking in a free country should in- 
spire caution iu those interested with its administration, to confine themselves 
within their respective constitutional spheres ; avoiding in the exercise of the powers 
of one department to encroach upon the other. The spirit of encroachment tends 
to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, what- 
ever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of 
power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is suffi- 
cient to satisfy us of the truth of the position." 

How fearfully have these truths been illustrated during the war! 
How bloody have been the proofs of their wisdom ! Congress inter- 
feres with the President, the constitutional commander of our armies 
and navies. It appoints a war committee, who not only annoy the 
President, but assume to make direct investigations into the conduct 
of officers. For some of that committee I have great respect, and I 
know that they have tried to mitigate these evils; but others were the 
open revilers of generals in the field, and this, too, in places re- 
sorted to by subordinate officers, who thus heard their superiors de- 
nounced by senators, and were taught insubordination by those who 
make laws for our control. I need not recall to your memories this 
aspect of our affairs, or their fatal consequences. Generals, who won 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. T., OCT. 13, 1862. 69 

honors in other fields, were blasted by its influences. Armies, 'which 
gained victories and added to our national glory elsewhere, languished 
or were cut down under this blighting spirit. It has filled our land 
with mourning ; it has perplexed our rulers. The conspicuous men in 
this policy belonged to this radical organization. 

Loo\ again at the recent convention of governors. Each man there 
lost his official powers when he left the limits of his State ; yet they 
affected positions denied to them by their respective State govern- 
ments, and perplexed an anxious people by secret proceedings, and 
attempted to influence the President of the United States by a move- 
ment at variance with the genius of our institutions. If they had no 
objects beyond those avowed, it was a folly which increased the pub- 
lic alarm at this period of national disquietude. . 

We have another apparent conflict between the judiciary and the 
army and the Executive. Many who speak of disloyalty to Govern- 
ment, forget that the judiciary is one of its independent branches, as 
much so as the executive or the legislative department. It is one 
without which it cannot be carried on.. It is as treasonable to assail 
its j urisdiction as to attack any other part of our national system. I 
say there is an apparent conflict, for I will not believe that Mr. Lin- 
coln claims the right to suspend the great writ of personal liberty, or 
to do any act under the war power, unless he thinks he can do so con- 
sistently with the Constitution. I assert my belief and confidence that 
he expects that all these acts will in due time be brought before the 
judiciary. If that decides he has been right, his acts will stand ; if it 
decides he has been mistaken, they fall, with all the consequences which 
attach to a mistaken construction of law. Our Constitution contem- 
plates such differences of views, and it provides for them. They have 
happened before, and they will happen again. His suspension of the 
writ of habeas corpus must thus be tested. So with regard to his 
proclamation of emancipation. As to its lack of wisdom and efficacy, I 
cordially indorse the views expressed by him in his interviews with 
the clergymen from Chicago. As to its legality, no man has ever 
doubted that the slaves of men in rebellion can be rightfully taken 
from them, with any other kind of property, by virtue of law ; but I 
do not believe the rights or the property of loyal men, either at the 
North or South, can be destroyed by a proclamation in peace or war. 
Can we say that the conduct of a disloyal majority can forfeit the 
property of a loyal minority, when we hold that a majority of loyal 
citizens cannot destroy the rights of a single citizen if he has been 
guilty of no offence ? This was decided by our courts when they set 
aside coercive temperance laws. Can we safely admit the principle, 
that the crimes of one class can forfeit the property, the rights of con- 
science, or the liberties of innocent men ? This point must come be- 
fore the judiciary. There all will meet upon a level, and presidents 
and people alike must bow to its judgments. 

The idea that the conduct of rebellious men can forfeit the rights 
of others, is still more dangerous. When'we object to legal acts op- 
pressive to loyal States, it is constantly said in reply: "The South 
sets aside the Constitution. For this act we war upon it." But can 
the conduct of disloyal States impair the privileges of those which are 
true to the flag? The South never had as much interest in the just 
construction of the Constitution as the more active, commercial, and 


populous North. We have always had more varied interests which 
required its protection. Its provisions will lose none of their value if 
the most disastrous results befall us. On the contrary, amid the con- 
fusion of revolution and the disorganization of society, we learn the 
full value of the great principles which have been wrought out in times 
of oppression, suffering, and calamity. We therefore deny that our 
rights under the Constitution can be forfeited by the treasonable con- 
duct of rebellious States. 

Let me take another instance of this inclination to interfere with the 
jurisdiction of the constituted authorities. It may be ludicrous in 
some respects, but it is dangerous in others. It proves the loose ideas 
of government which begin to prevail in our country. In response to 
a call to uphold the Government, there was a vast assemblage in your 
city. Amidst its enthusiasm, which showed itself in its customary 
forms of music and oratory, there was a tempered patriotism, which, 
at one of its numerous stands, moved the appointment of a committee. 
It contemplated raising funds to promote enlistments and other wor- 
thy objects; I believe in the outset it confined itself to its appropriate 
duties. Unfortunately, it called itself the national war committee. I 
attribute all its mistakes to that unfortunate name. I suppose it indi- 
cated that its objects were national. But the committee soon fell into 
a maze, and it was decided that the word national was a term of 
jurisdiction. I do not doubt the moving and modest spirits of the 
committee were appalled at this discovery, but having a large share 
of moral courage, they entered into this broad field. Washington was 
visited ; the camps were explored ; the governors of States were ad- 
vised as to their duties ; Governor Morgan was informed that our 
State was exposed to invasion, and he was called upon to organize the 
militia forthwith. He quietly sent them a large volume, containing 
the laws upon that subject, showing what had been done. This was 
received with indignation, for it would take as much time to read 
and understand it as it would to meddle with the affairs of half a dozen 
States, and would also interfere with the project of raising 50,000 men 
outside of State and National organizations. For this offence the radi- 
cal leaders withheld the usual complimentary vote at their conven- 
tion, although his labors have been immense. They even passed over 
the military of New York to applaud those of other States,- although 
at the time this State had sent more men to Washington under the 
late call than all the other States united. The mayor of your city, a 
man of intelligence, who has shown capacity in his business affairs; 
acts as its chairman ; although his position as a high executive officer 
should have shown him the danger of such voluntary committees 
assuming such jurisdiction in a time of civil war and popular commo- 
tion. Many of its members saw its tendencies and resigned. They 
felt the danger of the example. There is no monopoly in making 
national war committees. With equal claims to adyise, direct and sit 
in judgment upon men's opinions, or their supposed opinions, they 
may be got up by every class. In a little time your whole city will 
be divided into associations, under the control of men claiming to 
interfere with the Government. HistoVy shows this to be the most 
dangerous phase of revolutionary agitation. How happens it that 
sensible men have drifted into this false position ? and how happens it 
that these vague ideas of government and order always belong to the 
party that boasts that it is radical ? 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 13, 1862. 71 

I appeal to all thoughtful men if there is not a tendency, on the 
part of the extreme men who now control the opposing organization, 
to obscure the limitations of departments ? I appeal to them if they 
will admit such principles into their stores, their factories, or work- 
shops ? I ask, if" it would certainly make confusion and bankruptcy 
there, will it not work out the same mischiefs in government ? Yet 
you are called upon to approve this policy by your votes. To what 
end do you adhere to principles in the conduct of your private affairs, 
if you bring about universal ruin by violating those principles in pub- 
lic affairs? 

Those who have lost their respect for conventions, and have thrown 
aside those maxims of government to which we are content to cling, 
in entering upon untried experiments and dangerous theories, have 
not only introduced disorders and insubordinations into civil and mili- 
tary departments, but they have also introduced into political discus- 
sions a spirit of lawlessness. With the impatience of theorists, and the 
irritability of those who are disappointed when their schemes do not 
succeed, they indulge not only in fierce abuse, but they openly advo- 
cate violence. And this, too, in the loyal North, and against those 
who have shown obedience to laws and a respect for an Executive elect- 
ed against their wishes, unequalled in the history of any nation. A 
few days since, a man who lately represented our people at the court 
of one of the greatest powers of the world, and who is now in the en- 
joyment of the pay and honors of the highest military rank, publicly 
expressed the wish that my life might be destroyed. He not only 
teaches violence in a great city, with all its elements of tumult and 
disorder, but his passions and vindictiveness are taught to our soldiers' 
through the press. The radical journals declare that this speech was 
calm and just. Yet his very presence at the meeting at which he 
spoke was a moral offence against the just feeling that officers in the 
army ought not, while in service, become imbued with political pas- 
sions or mingled with political intrigues. The land is now red with 
the blood of our Northern soldiers, sacrificed and murdered as victims 
of partisan jealousies and schemes. His attendance at a political 
meeting was a wrong to a heavily taxed community. To give to 
party what he owed to the country — his time and exertions — was an 
act of injustice. We are becoming accustomed to violence of speech 
and action. They make no impression upon us, but they are sinking 
deep into the congenial minds of bad and desperate men, where they 
foster and nourish those passions that may hereafter hurst upon your 
homes and your families. I might multiply instances of this thirst for 
personal injury upon others, which is shown in the anxiety expressed 
for arrest and imprisonments. They have all gone out to excite bit- 
terness, and to add to the sum of public hate. This malignity of 
feeling and purpose has become so conspicuous that, whether you 
wish it or not, the citizens of New York must by their votes rebuke 
or uphold it. In a good degree you are to decide if you are to live 
hereafter under the laws of the State or the laws of violence. You do 
not know what direction public violence may take. Do not, I invoke 
you, my Republican friends, countenance its spirit. Do not again 
mock our warning, when we tell you now, as we told you before, that 
words of hate and threats of injury end in bloodshed and disorder. 

Let me here state distinctly to those who revile us — who threaten 


with imprisonment for freedom of speech — that during the long period 
the Democratic party held power it made no such arrests. It will soon 
regain its ascendancy. No effort on your part, however frantic, will 
prevent this. When it is restored to power no man's person will be 
seized without process of law. No man's right to the " writ of lib- 
erty" will be denied or abridged. Every man's home will be held to 
be sacred. When you ask the protection from legal tribunals you 
deny to us, you shall have it. You shall follow your vocation of abuse , 
and calumny as securely as now. When you invoke Government to 
violate our rights, I am proud to say we always felt strong enough in 
conscious rectitude to meet the scrutiny of our opponents, and to re- 
pel assaults with arguments and reason. 

Respect for the National Constitution is no longer expressed by 
many prominent men and journals. We are no longer surprised to 
hear declarations that they do not wish the Constitution as it is, but 
as it ought to be in the judgment of wild and visionary men. Many 
who do not hesitate to express their want of confidence in these 
theorists as individuals, still follow them when they control organiza- 
tions which make them powerful and dangerous. The time was when 
the rights of person, property, and conscience were held to be safe, 
behind the barriers of the Constitution. See the extent to which the 
judiciary is weakened, not alone by the exigencies of war, but by the 
loss of public reverence growing out of vague theories engendered 
by higher-law doctrine. I implore you, my radical friends, to pause 
and see how much further you can drift in the direction you are 
swept along, without wrecking our political or social system. Begin- 
ning with the Chicago resolutions, which were then extreme views, 
what points have you now reached? 

While our brethren are battling in the field for our flag, and our 
Union, have we no home duties to perform ? They were never so 
great or urgent as now. Our fireside rights are ever of the deepest 
interest, and must ever be vigilantly guarded. There must be a per- 
petual watch over the sanctity of our homes. Our rights of con- 
science concern not our interests here, but through all eternity. Our 
opponents do not hold that they are restrained by the condition of the 
war from pressing their policy of State government. They have sub- 
mitted amendments of our State Constitution, which open up the 
discussion of coercion against voluntary temperance, violations of 
law and personal rights which tend to the distraction of public faith. 
The connection between all parts of the social and political fabric are 
too obvious to need a word of proof. Now, the faith pledged to the 
public creditor at this time is peculiarly sacred. The money poured 
into the National treasury was not brought out in a time of confidence, 
but in a period of doubt and danger. It did not seek profitable 
investment, but the country's safety. These claims are held alike by 
the rich and the poor. The amounts owned by corporations repre^ 
sent the interests of women and children, of the aged and infirm, 
throughout society. Still more sacred are the claims of our soldiers 
to the pensions and bounties they earn at the cost of blood, of health, 
and exposure. Shall we be justified if these are turned to dust and 
ashes by a national bankruptcy, which may be brought upon us by 
extravagance and corruption, if we neglect our duties at home while 
our brethren are combating in the field ? 

COOPER -INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 13, 1862. 73 

This election, beyond any that has been held in the history of our 
country, is to decide the spirit of our legislation, and affect the order, 
the security, and the happiness of the people of this .State. Do not 
mistake the parties — they are not the candidates upon the ticket, but 
the voters who shall elect them. You are now sitting in solemn judg- 
ment upon your own interests. You cannot escape, if you would, 
the consequences of your decision to yourselves and families. If it 
is true that the radical organization does tend to the evils I have 
charged, then you are to be the sufferers by their success. 

Having pointed out the evils which a visionary and wild radicalism 
has brought upon our Government, our army, and our people ; and 
having shown the terrible calamities with which we are threatened if 
conservative men shall uphold these theories by their action at this 
election, it is our duty to state clearly our position, and show the in- 
fluence of our success. Earnest, thoughtful men, have a right to 
know what we mean to do, and how our conduct will affect the 
action of Government and the conduct of the war. Upon these 
points they have a right to full and clear declarations. Let us con- 
front the truths of our national position. We must accept facts as 
they stand. Overlooking all the past, we find the armed strength of 
the Government and of the rebellion engaged in deadly conflict. 
The sword is now the arbiter. Not only are the ranks of the armies 
arrayed in the defence of our flag filled by our friends and relatives, 
but we know that upon the results of battles hang the destinies of 
our country. Its greatness, its prosperity, its glory, are poised upon 
the turn of the conflict. I have shown, in temperate language, how 
this has been perilled by the confusion and evils brought upon us by 
wild and speculative theories, and by an abandonment of tried path- 
ways. Bewildered, irritated, and perverse, the agitators are still 
pushing on in the same fatal policy. They are willing to sacrifice all 
the blood and the treasure of the people, but they are not willing to 
sacrifice one passion or one prejudice. On the other hand, while our 
views have been rejected, we have calmly and firmly adhered to the 
tradition of our fathers, that authorities must be upheld in the right- 
ful exercise of power, whether we liked their policy or not. Hence 
our support has been unwavering, unconditional, and true. The elec- 
tion of our whole ticket would not revolutionize political power, but 
it would qualify that monopoly of all departments of Government 
which we have seen tends to corruption and despotism, when un- 
checked. Our success, for other reasons, would bring this war to a 
successful conclusion. It would carry us back to the point from 
which we started, and for which the whole country rallied as one 
man — the restoration of the Union, the support of the Constitution. 
The war would have a definite object upon which all men would be 
united in feeling. The heart of the country, the hopes of the army, 
the confidence of capitalists would be strengthened, for they would 
know that this end could be gained. At this time they feel that they 
are struggling to carry out the indefinite, shifting and violent pur- 
poses of theorists and fanatics, whose purposes to-day are not the 
purposes they avowed at the outset. Many of them declare they do 
not wish to restore the Union unless they can revolutionize the social 
system of the South. This has become the first, not the subordinate 
object. It engrosses their thoughts arid feelings. It has made dis- 


cussions in Congress, intrigues in the army, confusion in the _ public 
mind. When this social revolution became the great object with this 
class of niinds,-all other things were sacrificed to it. From the time 
we have been divided and distracted, loyal men in the South have 
been driven off or discouraged. We have all felt that we were en- 
tering upon a gloomy, uncertain future. A popular expression in 
favor of the objects avowed in the President's Inaugural Address, 
and solemnly pledged in the Congressional resolutions of 1861, would 
at once put ub upon that ground which would stop Congressional con- 
troversies, would restore the energy of the Union men of the South, 
would strengthen the nation's credit by making a definite issue upon 
which we can succeed, instead of 'those whose success would disor- 
ganize one-half of our land, even if success could be attained by the 
means thus proposed. What would be the position of the Conservative 
party if it carries this election ? It has been true, loyal, obedient in 
the minority. It will be true, loyal, and obedient if it gains some share 
of political power. It will hold in check those who are constantly 
pressing their peculiar theories upon the Government and army, with- 
out regard to the sacrifices they cause, or the embarrassments they 

We not only concede, but we demand that the President of the 
United States, the representative of our laws, our dignity, and our 
power, shall at all times be treated with deference, and spoken of in 
respectful terms. Our success, therefore, instead of weakening the 
Administration in its efforts to subdue the rebellion, must inevitably 
strengthen it, and will aid in shaking off those radical influences by 
which it has heretofore been annoyed and embarrassed. 

Again, fellow-citizens, upon this occasion, as upon every occasion 
when we have assembled since the outbreak of this rebellion, we 
solemnly dedicate ourselves and all we hold clear to a restoration of 
the Union as it was. To this end the ranks of our armies shall be 
kept full, and the treasury of our nation replenished. This support 
shall not be held back by us to coerce Government to adopt a pecu- 
liar line of policy. Again, with equal solemnity, we pledge ourselves 
to uphold our Constitution as it is against every influence and threat. 
It is not that we are merely desirous the South should return to their 
duties and enjoy its protection, but because it is our Constitution. It 
does not belong peculiarly to them, and it is not to be confiscated by 
their acts. Its guarantees are our protection — it guards the fruits of 
our toil — it shelters the sacredness of our homes — it eaves our persons 
from violence and wrong — and above all and beyond all, it allows no 
power to step in between us and our Maker in the exercise of freedom 
of conscience. Its guarantees are the sum of all the great principles 
of liberty, of equality, and justice, wrought out by the toil and suffer- 
ing of the patriots of our own and other lands. It is a sacred trust 
received from our fathers, and which must be handed down to the 
future unimpaired and unmutilated. By God's help that trust shall 
be kept at every sacrifice and every suffering. 


Mr. Seymour at the Brooklyn (N. Y.) Academy of Music, 
October 22, 1862. 

The Democracy as a Majority —Its Demands of the Government — The Situa- 
tion—The Duty of Citizens — The Usefulness of Parties — Obedience to 
constituted Authorities — The Remedy for alleged Grievances — Repub- 
lican and Democratic Loyalty contrasted — United support of the Govern- 
ment essential to Success — Insubordination in Army and Civil Life re- 
buked — Sectional Misrepresentation denounced — Free Discussion de- 
manded — Honesty and Economy in the Administration of National 
Affairs essential to Success — Contract Swindles pointed out — The Mode 
in which the Nation's Life is to be saved — Constitution tinkering — The 
Union as it was, the true purpose of the War — Prosperity under Demo- 
cratic Rule — Attitude of the Democracy toward the South. . 

Fellow-Citizens: — The events of the last few days have changed 
our relations to this Government. A few months ago we were ap- 
parently a minority, who had no legal rights, no protection for our 
persons, no protection for our homes But the elections which have 
taken place from Maine to Minnesota have demonstrated this, that at 
every point, either the majorities of the Radical party have been 
diminished, or they have encountered serious and conclusive defeats, 
and for all moral purposes we are now the representatives of that great 
Conservative party that commands the situation. I do not merely 
speak of every revolution in office. I speak of that effect which the 
world will heed, and which will he heeded, too, at the seat of govern- 
ment — that the American people demand a wise conservative policy, 
looking to the restoration of our Union, and demanding the uphold- 
ing of our Constitution jn all its completeness. I stand before you 
this night speaking on behalf of the great conservative interests of 
our country, as one who should be outspoken in his statements. I do 
not feel as one who comes before you to plead for your suffrages ; but 
I feel as one that stands here now, knowing your sentiments, and 
knowing your views, with a right to say what policy will govern us 
hereafter in our conduct toward the great questions which now agi- 
tate the American mind. It has truly been said that the life of our 
nation is in peril. This very proposition, involving, as it does, not 
alone our Government, but our social system, our personal security, 
our home rights, is one of such magnitude that we are bound to ap- 
proach it with an earnest, honest, and sincere desire to do our whole 
duty in the premises. In this spirit I shall speak to you this night. 
I shall not find it necessary, in discussing these questions, to use a single 
epithet, or to indulge in a single denunciation. If I am honored this 
night with the attendance of one of those who are politically opposed to 
me, I beg him to understand that I came here in no spirit of arrogance, 
with a view of dictating to him what his policy should be. I have 
no terms of reproach as to the past ; but I do stand here most 
earnestly to implore him to listen not to my wisdom, but to the 
wisdom of our fathers, who formed this Constitution ; not to yield 
to our views. We seek no such triumphs ; but we do implore him 
to yield to the views of the great and good men who laid the 
foundation of this Government and this Constitution, under which 
we became so great, so prosperous, and so mighty as a nation. 


I do stand here to invoke him to return again to those time-hon- 
ored principles which for so many years were recognized by men of 
all classes as essential to our safety and security as a people. Speak- 
ing, then, as I feel I have a right to do, on behalf of the great con- 
servative party that from this time forth is to shape the policy of our 
Government, I mean to be most explicit and outspoken in all that 
I have to say. I shrink from no question. I seek to grapple with 
every problem involved in our present position. If the people of this 
State shall see fit again to place me in the executive chair, I wish to 
go there with a full understanding on their part of all my views and 
all my purposes. 

What then is now the situation of our land ? I do not propose 
to look backward. I do not propose to review the past. I propose, 
in the first place, to inquire what is now the situation of our country, 
and what duty it is that its condition imposes upon us. I believe this 
war might nave been averted; but though I thus believe I recognize 
the fact of its existence, and recognizing that fact, I accept it as a 
thing that I am bound to regard in all my views as to the policy of 
the future. I recognize and accept the fact that at this moment the 
destinies, the honor, and the glory of our country hang poised upon 
the conflict in the battle-field. I recognize the fact now, that whether 
we would have had war or not, it exists in all its vast proportions in 
our land ; and I recognize the fact now, that it is the duty of every 
man who loves his country, of every true man who would stand by 
its institutions, to see now that the whole measure of his influence, 
and all the weight of his power, is thrown in that battle-field, on the 
side of the flag of our Union. For the reason, then, that we are 
bound to do in the future what many of us have done in the past, I 
have stood amid the hills and valleys of the country where I live to 
invoke our young men to rally to the standard of our country. I 
have done all that it was in my power to do to uphold this Govern- 
ment. Although it was not the Administration of my choice, still it 
was the Government of my country; and I have invoked all men to 
stand loyally by it, because such was their duty. Now, in this mat- 
ter let me state distinctly what I understand to be the position of the 
great conservative classes of our land. And I use this term " conser- 
vative" in antagonism to the term " radical" for this reason : I do not 
ignore the existence of parties in our eountry ; I do not wish to 
ignore them. I believe them to be essential to the wise and judicious 
conduct of our affairs. But the convention that met at Syracuse, 
and which placed in nomination another ticket than that upon which 
my name stands, saw fit to mark out a new line. They saw fit there 
to seek a triumph not alone over us, but over the conservative prin- 
ciples of their own organization. They saw fit to say that they would 
put in nomination a ticket whose very presentation by their organi- 
zation should be an argument at the capital of our country that their 
own peculiar extreme views and policy should be followed out by 
this Government. In behalf of conservative men, I care not what 
party they have heretofore acted with, I accept the issue they have 
made with us. I will state it plainly and clearly, and show why at 
this time we should be sustained by the great body of loyal, conserva- 
tive, intelligent citizens of our State. In the first place, then, we 
hold principles upon this subject which are not held by our oppo- 


nents, that are essential not only to our success in this great war in 
which we are engaged, but which are indispensable for the success of 
the Government in existence. I opposed the election of Mr. Lincoln ; 
I deplored the result. But he was elected constitutionally, and it was 
my duty to bow to that decision and to sustain him with loyal pur- 
pose as the President of the United States. I deplored the policy 
which he adopted at the outset of his administration ; but it was his 
right to decide, and it was my duty to obey, and I yielded to the 
decisions of rightful authority. My friends, we have always been 
opposed to the doctrine of "higher law" — that doctrine that men 
had a right to set up their own views, their own passions, their own 
prejudices against the laws of the land and the decrees of regularly- 
constituted authorities acting within their constitutional limits. 

We held that if men were displeased with the laws they should 
have them repealed — they should not be resisted; we held if men 
were opposed to those in authority, the rightful remedy was given by 
our Constitution — the kind of remedy that' was used against me once 
when you became tired of me — you turned me out. That is the 
remedy for an unpopular officer. We contended for this principle of 
loyalty — this doctrine of obedience, to law — this principle that you 
are bound to respect authority. Those principles which we advo- 
cated then, we mean to remember now, fully and completely. We 
tender, then, to this Government, no conditional support; we recog- 
nize Mr. Lincoln as the President of these United States, as the re- 
presentative of its honor, of its dignity, of its strength ; and although 
I am politically opposed to him, never have I allowed myself to utter 
against him one disrespectful term, nor will I ever allow myself to do 
so. Here, my radical friends, you have the terms : — No conditional 
loyalty — no terms imposed upon you that we wish you to adopt our 
policy, but so far as you have a right to mark out another policy, it 
shall receive our unwavering, cheerful support. That is our position 
upon the subject — that is the policy we have ever advocated — not 
now alone, when we are in a majority — not two years ago, but one 
year ago as well as now. When many of our Republican friends 
were denouncing the Administration of their own creation, when many 
of its journals were indulging in language which we held to be unfit 
as applied to the chief magistrate of this country, we came forward 
and urged the sentiments which I am now expressing to you. But 
how is it on the other side of the house ? They say that we are not 
loyal men. We are not unfrequently denounced as men untrue to our 
Government, notwithstanding that we have not only made these de- 
clarations, but we have carried^ them out to the very letter and the 
very spirit. Has their loyalty been unconditional? Has their obedi- 
ence been without terms ? I beg of you to look back and see how 
this was. Who was it that demanded, before troops should be sent 
to defend the flag of the Government, that that Government should 
form a policy that pleased him ? Who was it but the extreme radi- 
cal Governor of the State of Massachusetts, who could not do what 
we would have done? Who among the journals of this country was 
it thatassailed this Administration, that threatened it with overthrow ? 
Was it a Democratic editor ? My friends, you know it was not. 
(Cries, "Raymond.") Who among the journals, of this country but 
those that expressed the sentiments of the great Radical party, have 


endeavored at all times to force their views and policy upon the 
Government of these United States, without regard to the embarrass- 
ment which they might occasion ? Not Democratic, not conservative 
journals, but the men who denounce you and me as being untrue to 
our institutions, as not loving that flag as well as they love it. I 
charge here, I put it to you if the charge is not true, that they have 
been foremost in every measure that was calculated to embarrass this 
Government, and hinder a successful prosecution of the war. Now, 
let me say this, that in addition to furnishing the Government with all 
its demands of arms and of armed forces, you must have, in addition 
to that, a loyal support on the part of the people of this country. It 
is in vain to furnish arms, it is in vain, to furnish material strength, 
unless your Government is strengthened in its policy by the knowledge 
that the great body of the people will adopt the principles I have 
stated — those of obedience to law and respect to constituted authority. 

Now, my friends, how are we to get that union of action, that en- 
tire concert, that is to bring this war to a short and triumphant re- 
sult ? I appeal to you, if it can be done upon the principles of action 
which have been indorsed by the radical party — radical principles ; 
if every man is to oppose his own will, his own theories, his own hon- 
est convictions, to the action of the Government, if this vast commu- 
nity can ever be brought to that concert of action, without which we 
never can succeed in putting down this wicked and mighty rebellion. 

I appeal to you, my radical friend. I ask you if you will not come 
upon our ground — that which we have ever held — throw away your 
higher-law doctrine, that your will is superior to the Constitution of 
the land. Come with us upon this simple, plain platform that, laying 
aside our own peculiar, distinctive views, we will all unite in the de- 
claration that the laws must be sustained, the authorities of our 
country respected, and this war be brought to a speedy and success- 
ful termination. I appeal to you if there is any other ground of com- 
plete union. If there is no other ground of complete concord of ac- 
tion, I ask you if this proposition, coming from us, or those who are 
politically opposed to the Government, ought not to be respected by 
those upon the other side of the house ? Let them but do this, let 
them but be as loyal as we will be in this contest, and then I tell you 
the clouds of darkness that now hang over our land will disappear, 
and we shall again indulge the hope of making our country what it 
was but three short years since — the glory and admiration of the 

There is another thing, my radical friend, that we must look to ; 
insubordination must be rebuked in the army and in all departments 
of the Government. I appeal to you again in regard to this. Who 
in the field have all the time obeyed cheerfully all the decisions of the 
Government ? have taken those positions that have been assigned to 
them by the constituted authorities, without complaint ? have cheer- 
fully and laboriously continued to perform their duties as well as they 
might without dividing and distracting the community with the sto- 
ries of their personal wrongs and all their personal disappointments? 
Who are the generals who have been made prominent from the fact 
that they have placed themselves in antagonism to their superiors, 
and have attempted to overthrow the policy of the Government, in 
order that they might gain to themselves peculiar distinction, instead 


of confining themselves to a faithful service in upholding the consti- 
tuted authorities and winning victories on the battle-field ? Now 
this spirit of insubordination must be put down if you would save the 
fate of our country. 

But, my friends, another thing is necessary to the nation's life. 
The people must be fairly dealt with. There must be no more with- 
holding of truth from the popular eye. Why, look at this thing 
for a moment. Look at the consequences to our country of that policy 
which kept us in darkness as to the actual condition of things in our 
country. Why, the very general term is used that we have been 
laboring under a misapprehension. How happened it, my friends, that 
more than 200,000 Northern men, in all the vigor of life — young 
men, the hopes of families — the hopes of our land — have been laid in 
new-made graves, buf. from the fact that we have had what is called 
a misapprehension of the power of those with whom we are contend- 
ing. Now, whence came this misapprehension ? Was it accidental 
— was it casual? We were all of us taught in our school-boy days 
the resources of the South, their productions, and from the character 
of their country what they were able to do. We were taught their 
character for bravery, we had read the story of the revolutionary 
struggle, we had all heard of Jackson and the battle of New Orleans. 
We had all of us gloried in the stern valor of Taylor, and knew the 
courage of the American people North and South. But more than 
that, how happened it in this great metropolis, here in this great city 
'of Brooklyn, where you saw every day when you looked over yonder 
beautiful bay, your vessels deeply freighted with the rich products of 
the South ; when you saw daily evidence of their wealth and of their 
ability to buy produce ; how was it that you were made to believe 
that these were a helpless, dependent, poverty-stricken people ? How 
came it that against your early teachings, against your reading in 
history, against the very observations of, daily life, you entertained 
and cherished this monstrous mistake that is being blotted out by 
the red blood from the veins of your brothers? Do you not know? 
Do you not remember ? Go back to your press — go back to your 
rostrum — and, alas, sometimes, go back to the sacred house of God, 
and see if you were not taught these express fallacies. It was no 
accident. I tell you this fatal ignorance Was the result of long years 
of systematic teaching that has brought upon this land the terrible 
calamities which now aiflict it. Say w nat J oa please and think what 
you please as to the cause of this war — say it is slavery, say it is abo- 
litionism, say it is ambition, say it is thirst for wealth — but every 
man knows if the people of this country, North and South, had been 
well informed with regard to each other, this war would never have 

I assert here that without that great underlying cause — that igno- 
rance—those misapprehensions, those mistakes that were so industri- 
ously inculcated in your minds, our country to-day would not be filled 
with blood shed by brothers in an unnatural strife. Now I say, my 
friends, that the nation's life demands the truth — outspoken truth. 
We must be no longer amused with cabinet officers and others who 
stand before you and tell you that this, in the outset,' was a little thing 
— a matter of thirty days, or ninety days, or of the next three months. 
Why, do you remember a little while ago when a man's person was 


unsafe in your intelligent city, if he had said that 200,000 men eould 
not crush out this rebellion ? and more than 200,000 now sleep in 
bloody graves. My radical friends, I again invoke you, do not think 
that concealing the truth destroys the truth. Do not think that if 
you could even close our lips to full and free debate, that you would 
avert the terrible calamity that ignorance and false statement of 
affairs must inevitably bring upon this land. You imprison your gold, 
you lock it up in barns, you hide it away in deep vaults — and yet it 
tells of a depreciated currency as freely as if it circulated in the day- 
light and passed from hand to hand. Close our mouths if you will to 
abuses of government, lock us up, if you will, because we tell you of 
intrigues that are brought to view upon your brothers in the field, 
and the ocean itself is reddened with the flames of your burning ships, 
you cannot stop discussion. You will aggravate the evil. We tell 
you for your own benefit as well as for our own, that this great con- 
servative party will govern this country. I tell you, my dear radical 
friends, whether, you like it or not, the day is come when a mighty 
political revolution is not only about to take place, but has actually 
taken place. I tell you that when we have that power, which we 
will get, we will not only freely speak and freely act, but so will you, 
for this we will tell you : we will never retort the unworthy threats 
that you made against us. And when you discuss our policy, when 
you condemn our judgment, you shall be protected by our strong 
arm as completely as we now protect ourselves. 

But there is another thing which is necessary to save the nation's 
life : honesty and economy in the administration of public affairs. 
Now, you and I have not unfrequently been told, when we wished to 
point out what we regarded as a very great evil in public affairs, that 
we were untrue to our country^ that we were diverting the public 
mind entirely from the war into some other channel. 

Now, this thing has puzzled us. We cannot understand how our 
friends upon the other side find so much leisure to discuss the merits 
or demerits of individuals. I am exceedingly puzzled to know why 
it is worth while to write long articles about a man so insignificant 
as myself, when, if you or I attempt to look into monstrous frauds", 
we are told we should not divert the public mind from the great war 
at the South. 

But look at this thing. I tell you that it is in vain that you place 
armies in the field, it is in vain that you peril your lives, it is in vain 
that you send out your sons, your brothers, your friends, if, when 
they are placed in the battle-field, there is not a wise system of govern- 
ment to sustain them there, and an honest administration of affairs 
that shall supply them with all the necessaries of life and means of 
carrying on this war successfully. Every man admits that corruption 
destroys our armies as well as it destroys the national morality. All 
men know that unless you have honesty and economy in the con- 
duct of national affairs, and in the conduct of private affairs, ruiu 
inevitably follows. 

Now, what are the facts in regard to these things? I appeal to 
you, my friends, when you read your journals ; I appeal to you, my 
radical friends — it is for you I speak as well as for myself— it is good 
government for you we ask as well as for ourselves ; I appeal to you 
if you find in those journals those facts which concern your interests ; 


statements of monstrous frauds that have been developed — not 
charged by us — not subjects of vague imputation, but which have 
been proved to exist by authentic documents emanating from Congress, 
emanating from official investigation, conceded frauds. I ask you 
if at this time, when the nation's life is at stake, you have this great 
corrupting danger pointed out to your attention ? Why, our friends 
on the other side of the house like to talk about the nation's life 
being in danger ; but when you begin to talk about the frauds on the 
soldiers, you are untrue to your country. I tell you, my friends, that 
unhappy individual who hopes to conceal from the world the truth 
within himself, and hopes that concealment will be a remedy, only 
hastens himself on to an untimely end ; and the Government where 
frauds are concealed, and where it is held to be unpatriotic to lay 
them bare, is on the safe road to destruction. 

Put an end to this rebellion to-morrow, let the memory of slavery 
be forgotten, and I tell you that if you have a corrupt Government, 
you are as inevitably lost as if the armies of the enemy were enter- 
ing the capital of the country. 

Nay more, my friends, that our habitations are ravaged by fire and 
by sword that can but do their work and then but pass away, but 
there is the source of a never-ceasing corruption, which will not only 
destroy the national spirit but disgrace the national character. 

Now let me call your attention to one or two facts to which every 
man who is interested in his country's good must give the fullest con- 
sideration, and I ask you if they were ever directed to your consider- 
ation either through the press or by those who stood up before you 
in authority, acting in this dread crisis of our country's fate, when every 
man should, be honest and faithful. And I shall select only one from 
a whole mass of testimony. The document is numbered " Fraud No. 
62." And these are the investigations of a single committee. I ask 
you why it is ? It is not inconsiderate to lay these matters before 

And while we who are loyal to this Government ; who have sent 
our friends to the battle-field and its attendant loss; we who, too many 
of us, bear around us the signs of sorrow for the dead ; we who have 
risked, our lives in all honesty, and God knows in all sincerity, to meet 
the dangers which threatened the nation's life, it is too bad that, in 
the face of such sacrifices, we should have such a record as this. I 
hold in my hand a report made by Robert Dale Owen and Joseph 
Holt, which states among a great many other things, that they found 
in the contract for arms this thing to be true. They found that one 
establishment had a contract for furnishing pistols to the Govern- 
ments of Europe for $12.50 apiece. What did these patriotic men 
do who adopted this scheme ? They charged your Government $25 
a piece for those arms ; but by some* strange circumstance, while an- 
other concern offered to furnish the same article for $15 apiece, 
while they only cost $9, although the committee say they made a 
weapon equally good and perhaps superior, they could only get a con- 
tract for 5,000, while the patriotic company that charged $25 apiece, 
while the others charged $12 elsewhere, got a contract for 30,000, 
and the profit made thereby amounted at least to $300,000. I go on 
and find that by the act of 1838 a provision was made that no mem- 
ber of Congress should be interested in any contract, and that again 



in 1853 this law was amended, and its provisions made more strin- 
gent ; yet this committee tell us that while all of the first four con- 
tracts contain the clause that no member of Congress shall take part 
in those Government contracts, yet in regard to all the other acts, in- 
volving an amount of more than $30,000,000, there was put into those 
contracts the provisions demanded by the laws of your country. I 
leave this fact to you, my radical friends. Study your congressional 
reports. Read these investigations. Learn for yourselves if fraud 
does not reek at the National Capital. See if John P. Hale, Repub- 
lican Senator, did not tell the truth when he said that our armies had 
more to fear from corruption in the department than from enemies in 
the field. 

Let me pass on to the consideration of some other points. If you 
will put the question to yourselves — if you will sit down in your own 
quiet homes and by your hearth-sides, and inquire of this as you would 
with regard to your own private interests and concerns, you will find 
that you will be required to do what your conscience could never ap- 
prove, and what you could not but condemn as inconsistent with true 
notions of patriotism. I appeal to you as business men — as men in 
the private walks of life — why should not these things be regarded as 
essentially important in the conduct of National affairs ? Is the de- 
parture from sound policy and honest rules of conduct less dangerous 
in the management of public affairs, than in the management of pri- 
vate affairs ? It is necessary that you should learn that you cannot 
save the nation's life unless you do what we now urge you to do, not 
only to sustain your army, to support your fleets, but to demand a clear 
statement of the National affairs, and. to require that they be con- 
ducted not only by efficiency, but with honesty, economy, and integ- 

Permit me now to say a few words to you, as to the mode in which 
the nation's life is to be saved. It is not my remedy. I do not urge 
this because it is a conclusion I have arrived at. It is a wisdom in 
realizing which you are as much interested as I am. It is as much 
for your glory as for mine. It is for the suffering, the patriotism, and 
the toil of the land. It is for the suffering of our own race of every 
land, who for long years have been laboring and oppressed. It is 
for the benefit of the human race. The remedy for all this thing is 
the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution must not 
only be saved, but saved by a certain strict adherence to the charter 
of your liberties. Why do they say it is spoken of so lightly ?■ Why 
is it that when we are in the midst of a civil war, men are so prone 
to uphold each other in his liberties and rights ? Is it not because 
we know that there is a Constitution of the United States ? And is 
that a mere parchment ? Is it a mere dead letter, obsolete and value- 
less ? Tell me as soon that yonder flag is merely a bunting without 
inspiration or significance as the emblem of a powerful nation and the 
ensign of free institutions— institutions which we are bound at any 
sacrifice to protect and preserve. We are not only in favor of a 
thorough war policy, but we propose to bring this war to a speedy 
and successful conclusion, because we are determined that thus we 
shall restore the Union as it was. Now we are told by a great many 
that they don't want the Union as it was, but the Union as it should 
be according to their ideas of it. Without impeaching the wisdom 


of those men, without impeaching their patriotism, let us look at this 
thing. Why do you doubt us when we tell you what we propose to 
do ? That is something definite and within our reach. When you 
engaged in this stupendous undertaking of conquering the Southern 
States, had you not a project before you that was indefinite in its 
purpose and indefinite in its end ? When these people say they want 
the Constitution amended, that implies that it shall be amended ac- 
cording to the wishes and rights of every man in the land. 

When I say the Constitution is to be amended, and that it must be 
amended according to my plan, as well as Mr. Greeley's, it shall be 
amended without end. One man may want to insert a provision that 
will bear heavily on one section of the country; another man may in- 
sist on a provision that will bear with equal hardship on another sec- 
tion ; another, still, may insist on a clause depriving a class of his 
fellow-citizens of their personal rights. When you give countenance 
to the proposition that henceforth you shall not tolerate the Union as 
it was, you throw into this country an endless element of confusion 
and discord. You must see that such would be the result. All men 
must see it. Many of us here are from New England, or of New 
England descent. Look at that compromise the South has made. 
Here are six States, with less population than New York, less terri- 
tory than that from Missouri to Minnesota, and yet in these every 
man has, in the election of a United States Senator, six times the 
voice of a citizen of New York. 

We of New York are willing to submit, because we love our 
country, and we are willing to make sacrifices for it. If you begin 
to undo your Constitution, where will you stop ? ' You may be asked 
by some, do you not believe all men are born equal ? Why are not 
men born equal in New England, then ? You began to say we will 
have nothing in the Constitution inconsistent with what means 
equality and natural rights. Where will you end ? Where will this 
war end? I appeal to you, my friends, look at your Constitution. 
Take it up and read it. See the question settled by its judgment. 
Read it for yourselves, and see to what conclusions you will'be com- 
pelled, if you once enter upon the business of taking it to pieces, 
and bringing before this great excited community questions that were 
settled only by the utmost calmness and patriotism, under the pres- 
sure brought to bear upon them by all the mistakes and sufferings of 
the Revolutionary struggle. 

God knows I love my countiy. He who knows my thoughts knows 
I long to serve it. He who knows all things knows that I would 
count my life as nothing if I could but save the nation's life. Why 
are we asked each day, if we are willing to bring this war to a speedy, 
prompt, and glorious conclusion ? Have we less interest, my Radi- 
cal friend, than you, in the glory of this land ? Do you not tell us 
that for eighty long years we carried on the Government ? It was 
under our Government, with all our faults — but God knows they were 
numerous enough — with all our weaknesses — and we have occasion 
to pray each day, " God be merciful to us sinners," — withall our errors 
of judgment, and corruption, if you please — we do not claim to be bet- 
ter than you are, we never have ; but with all our faults and errors, 
while we governed this country, it became the most glorious and mag- 
nificent the eye of the world ever rested upon. Why is it, then, that we 


were more prosperous than you ? Npt because, as I said before, we are 
wiser than you, or better than you, but in all humility we were will- 
ing to accept the teachings of our fathers, and to follow the beaten 
path which they trod. We did that which each man of you does in 
all the ordinary affairs of life, we adhered to those well-tried prin- 
ciples of action to which you adhere when transacting the business of 
your shops, or your stores, or your commerce. You do not trust a 
man who indulges in fanciful theories. And if you will not in private 
affairs, why will you in the Government of the country ? Where in 
any other Government do you find a written Constitution and a ju- 
diciary placed above the Congress and above the Legislature to pro- 
tect the rights of humanity? 

Now I want to say what we are going to do. Let me say a word 
to your higher-law men of the North : You must give up your doc- 
trine and submit yourselves to the laws. You have taught fatal errors, 
but you have confined yourselves within the limits of legal rights, and 
for this we respect you, and therefore we shall put you down by the 
ballot. But we have another class of higher-law men at the South 
who have also arraigned their will against the laws of the land and 
its rightful authorities. They have not contented themselves with the 
ballot, but have chosen the bayonet and bullet to settle the question. 
Then with the bayonet and bullet we must meet them. We did not 
want this war, but the men of the South made the bayonet and sword 
the arbiter of their doctrines, and so far as the present is concerned, 
the sword must be the arbiter, and by it, with our own strong arms 
we will strike vigorous blows for the life of the Constitution and the 
flag. I wish that, my voice could be heard throughout every 
Southern State. I would say, mistake not the conservative tri- 
umphs of the North. Listen not to the teachings of those who 
say we are not true to the Union, true to the Constitution. You 
know that we are those who battled for the Constitution, includ- 
ing your rights, when they were assailed and denounced. You 
know that at a time when you were safe within its folds you deserted 
your country's flag, and you deserted us, too, who had been true to 
the principles of your Constitution. Bead those triumphs aright, and 
they will tell you they bring into power men who love the Constitu- 
tion as a tradition; men who inherited it from their fathers. There- 
fore we tell you and the whole world, that this great conservative 
party will rear up the shattered columns of the Union. We will rear 
it higher up, still nearer' heaven than it was before, and from its lofty 
top and growing greatness there shall ever wave your nation's flag, 
with every star and every stripe that has been placed there in the 
wonderful progress of our country ; and then, whatever other men 
may say — I care not what — as for the conservative people of this 
country, and as for myself, other men may say as they please, as for a 
division of this Union, and for breaking up of that great alliance 
made by and under God's guidance, I never will consent to it, no 
never, as long as I have a voice to raise or a hand to fight for this our 
glorious country. 

tTTIOA, N. T., NOVEMBER 6, 1862. 85 

Mr. Seymour at ITtica, X. Y., Nov. 6, 1862. 

His Election as Governor — Significance of the Result — Not a Partisan Triumph 
—It portends a great Revolution — Its Effect upon the World — A Blessing 
to the whole Country — Democratic purposes — Reiteration of Former Ad- 
vice to Government and People — Pledges to sustain the Federal Admin- 
istration — The Democratic Success strengthens the National Credit, in- 
sures a successful issue of the War, and averts National Bankruptcy, or 

Men of Onondaga, the county of my birth, and men of Oneida, the 
county in which I live — I thank you for the home verdicts you have 
given upon those who have borne false witness against my character 
and my patriotism. While I was battling for the cause of our coun- 
try in other parts of New York, I left the defence of my character in 
your hands, who know me best. In no counties in the State have 
our political opponents lost so much as in yours. 

The victory we have gained is not a partisan triumph. It is won 
by conservative men heretofore belonging to different organizations. 
It is a triumph for our country. It embraces in its generous purposes 
those who have battled against us. The first great cause of our suc- 
cess, that which made the deep under-swell that bore us on to victo- 
ry, were the letters written by our soldiers from the battle-field, im- 
ploring their fathers and their brothers to put down a wild and bloody 
fanaticism. More clearly than others they saw the errors which 
brought the present calamities upon our country. The joy which 
one success will give to Union-loving and patriotic hearts throughout 
our land, will be most strongly felt among those who are fighting for 
our flag. We have not only given them new vigor, but we have 
weakened the rebellion against which they are combating. They 
now fight for the definite purpose of restoring our Union as it was, 
and upholding the Constitution as it is. They are now relieved from 
depressing uncertainties as to the object of the contest, and of the 
feeling that they were engaged in a vague, blind and indefinite strug- 
gle to carry out the theories of visionary fanatics, or of being made 
the instruments to excite servile insurrections, or of being dragged 
into a revolting war against the lives of women and children. 

The calmness and quiet of this great political revolution will im- 
press the world. The enemies of our country charged that we were 
becoming a brutal and blood-thirsty people. We now show them 
that in the midst of a great civil war, against the enormous power 
and patronage which this war gives to those in office, the citizens of 
this country, at an election marked by unusual order, have rebuked 
those who have controlled the policy of Government, because their 
language has been ferocious and sanguinary, and their conduct not in 
keeping with the genius of our Constitution. While the action of 
our peoj)le has been calm, it has been prompt and decided. One year 
ago our opponents swept the country with overwhelming majorities. 
Now, in every election, from Maine to Minnesota, they are either 
beaten or their strength so broken down that everywhere they are a 
defeated party. 


It is a source of pride to us that the victory which we have won 
will prove a blessing to all parties and to our whole country. We 
shall not retaliate upon those who threatened our persons or invaded 
our fights. We shall forget words and acts of passion and prejudice 
long before their authors will forget their own follies or forgive them- 
selves for their assaults on constitutional liberty. We will not sub- 
mit to acts of tyranny or wrong. Neither will we consent that our 
political opponents shall lose their rights because they sought to vio- 
late ours. 1 

One year ago I spoke to you, my townsmen, upon the condition of 
public affairs. When I came home from the far West, I found the 
journals that claimed to speak for the Republican party using terms 
of contempt and reproach toward the President of the United States. 
I had opposed his election, but I denounced such language as injurious 
to the dignity and honor of our people. What I then said in the day 
of our defeat, I now repeat in the hour of our triumph : 

" First, and above all, we are to show obedience to constituted authorities, and 
devotion and respect for legal and constitutional obligations. We are admonished by 
Washington — ' The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish gov- 
ernment, pre-supposes the duty of every individual to obey the established govern- 
ment.' The primal sin of disobedience is not only the immediate cause of this war, 
but its spirit has also sapped and weakened the foundations of our Municipal, State, 
and National authority in every part of our land. It is the great underlying cause 
of all our calamities. The spirit of disobedience permeates our social system ; it 
renders law powerless, and strips men of their rights of due protection to their per- 
sons and property. Obedience is the basis of all family, religious and political organ- 
izations. It is the principle of cohesion that holds society together, without which 
it crumbles into atoms.' 1 

Those radical men who brought this war upon our country by their 
passions and follies, have now overthrown by their violence the party 
which gave them influence. Having shaped the policy of the Gov- 
ernment by such legislative and executive measures as they demanded, 
they now turn with angry reproaches upon the President, whose 
more moderate counsels they spurned, and seek to make him respon- 
sible for their political disasters. We shall not take advantage of this 
factious spirit to embarrass the Administration. We warn these in- 
furiated men, that such language, at all times demoralizing, is dan- 
gerous in times of civil war. Although we are politically opposed to 
Mr. Lincoln, we insist that he shall be treated with the courtesy due 
to his position, and to the dignity of the American people. 

While I thus admonished our people with regard to the duties of 
obedience, at the same time I pointed out the admonitions of the 
Father of our Country to those in power. I repeat his solemn 
warnings : — 

" It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free eauntry should in- 
spire caution in those interested with its administration, to confine themselves within 
their respective constitutional spheres ; avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one 
department to encroach upon the other. The spirit of encroachment tends to consoli- 
date the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form 
of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and prone- 
ness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of 
the truth of this position." 

The results of the late election will carry us back to the policy of our 
fathers. They will give renewed vigor to the principles of the Con- 
stitution. Amid all the confusion of this civil war, its solemnities, its 

UTICA, N. Y., NOVEMBER 6, 1862. 87 

bloodshed, its calamities, our people have by their ballots re-affirmed 
and re-established the Constitution of the United States, in all its 
vigor and all its completeness. The war now takes a new phase. We 
held up to the people of the South not only the penalties of disobe- 
dience, but all the blessings and all the advantages of submission to 
that Constitution. Unyielding and exacting on the one hand in our 
demands for obedience, we are scrupulous and just in giving every 
right to those who shall yield to the Government made by our com- . 
mon fathers. 

Let not our countrymen, let not the world, mistake the meaning of 
our triumph. It is the beginning of a political revolution that will again 
place power in the hands of those who, until the last two years, were 
able to defeat the enemies of peace, of the Union, of the Constitution. 
This triumph removes the great obstacle in the way of the restoration 
of our Union. It teaches the loyal men at the South, who feared that 
they were unsafe within its limits, that the conservative men at the 
North are able to put down fanatical agitators and meddling disturb- 
ers without the help of a single vote from a Southern State. The 
doctrine that there is a law higher than the Constitution, which justi- 
fies resistance to the statutes of the land, or to rightful authority, has 
been condemned. Our Government has received new strength. That 
seditious spirit which prompted Northern Governors to give a condi- 
tional obedience to the constitutional demands of Government, has ( 
been rebuked. Treasonable efforts to coerce the Executive into a line 
of policy opposed to his convictions of duty, have been condemned 
by the public verdict. The President of the United States has been 
instructed to exercise thejfull measure of his rightful authority, to up- 
hold the dignity, of his office, to restrain other departments within 
their proper spheres, and then, too, he has been admonished not to go 
beyond his own rightful jurisdiction. He will receive from us that 
which he has not had from those who claim to be his peculiar sup- 
porters — a cheerful, unconditional obedience to his rightful demands, 
whether they meet our views of policy or not. At our annual elec- 
tions we shall again sit in judgment on that policy, and condemn or 
approve it in the mode pointed out in the Constitution. In the mean- 
while he will be saved from those intrigues which have hindered the 
successful progress of the war. Our armies will now be permitted to 
gain victories in the vicinity of our capital, as they have heretofore 
won them in other fields of action. The national credit will be 
strengthened by greater economy and honesty in the conduct of affairs. 
It will also be strengthened, because we propose an object for this 
war that can be attained — the restoration of our Union. All other 
schemes, which looked to a bloody social revolution, will be abandoned. 
We can now hope that we are to be saved from the disgrace of 
national bankruptcy on the one hand", or the still deeper dishonor and 
demoralization of national repudiation on the other. 

To restore our country to its former condition, we are ready to 
make every sacrifice, not only of men and money, but also of passion 
and prejudice, for we will not hold our passions and prejudices to be 
more sacred than the blood and toil of our fellow -citizens in the field 
of martial conflict. 


Governor Seymour's First Annual Message to the Legis- 
lature of the State of New York, January 7, 1863. 

Condition of Public Affairs— What New York has done— Local Matters- 
Opinion about the Drafting Laws— National Affairs — Causes of the War — 
Respect for Laws and Rulers — Necessity of Economy — Limitations of 
Power— State Rights— Arbitrary Arrests— Rights of People during Civil 
War — Powers of Government — Martial Law — Violations of the Constitu- 
tion — Emancipation Proclamation — The Central and Western States- 
Extremes will not Prevail— Adjustment of Interests — Political Interests, 
and Necessity of restoring the Union. 

To the Legislature: — We meet under circumstances of unusual 
solemnity to legislate for the honor, for the interest, and for the protec- 
tion of the people of the State of New York. The oath which we have 
taken to support the Constitution of the United States and the Con- 
stitution of the S^ate of New York, and to perform our duties with 
fidelity, has at this time especial significance. It teaches us to look 
upon each of these Constitutions as equally sacred, that each is to be 
upheld in its respective jurisdiction. At this time, the power of the 
one is openly defied by armed rebellion, while the other is endangered 
by the confusion and discord growing out of civil war. This '"' oath, 
declaration or test," is not a mere ceremonial ; it is a part of the ten- 
ure of the offices we hold. Until we have thus solemnly submitted 
ourselves to the commands of these instruments, giving up our per- 
sonal views and opinions, and pledging ourselves to obey their re- 
quirements, we are not permitted to perform any official act. 

To uphold the General Government, New York has sent since the 
outbreak of this war two hundred and twenty thousand soldiers into 
the field. To organize this vast army, my predecessor, and those act- 
ing under his direction in his military staff, have used unwearied labor 
and shown high capacity. The duties growing out of this service have 
been greater than those falling upon the officials of other States, and 
in their performance compare favorably with the conduct of the war 
on the part of the General Government. While our soldiers are peril- 
ing their lives to uphold the Constitution and restore the Union, we 
owe it to them, who have shown an endurance and patriotism unsur- 
passed in the history of the world, that we emulate their devotion in 
our field of duty. We are to take care when they come back that 
their home rights are not impaired, that they shall not find, when they 
return to the duties of civil life, that the securities of their persons, the 
sanctity of their homes, or the protection of their property, have been 
lost by us, while they were battling for their national interest in a 
distant field of duty. 

I shall deem it my duty to fill all vacancies in official stations in the 
army by promotion for meritorious services or gallant conduct in the 
field ; this is a measure of justice, as it will give to them the rewards 
where they have been fairly earned, and will stimulate both officers 


and men, by a laudable ambition, to excel in patriotic services in an 
honorable pursuit. 


While so many parts of our country are laid waste by war, their 
towns and cities desolated, their homes destroyed, their citizens 
slaughtered, and all that makes social happiness crushed out beneath 
the tread of armies, we have cause for gratitude that in this State the 
circle of its munificent public charities is in full and beneficent opera- 
tion ; all forms of infirmities, suffering, and want have been relieved. 
Our schools, academies, and colleges are in successful operation ; insti- 
tutions designed to rescue the young and helpless from careers of vice, 
are still engaged in the prevention of misery and crime. Our prisons, 
under a liberal system designed to reform as well as punish, still pro- 
tect our community against convicted criminals. Our courts are open 
for the security and protection of persons and property. Mechanical 
and agricultural pursuits are in the main successfully conducted. Our 
vast internal and foreign commerce has assumed proportions far be- 
yond that of any former period. But for the overshadowing, gloomy 
cloud of war, and its heavy drafts upon the blood and treasure of our 
citizens, there could not be found four millions of people in the enjoy- 
ment of greater happiness and prosperity. ***** 

[Here follows a statement of the condition of the finances, canals, charities, and other 
matters pertaining exclusively to the State of New York.] 

I urge your immediate attention to the inequality and injustice of 
the laws under which it is proposed to draft soldiers for the service of 
the General Government ; during a long period of peace, but little 
attention has been paid to our military system. For the purposes of 
a conscription it is entirely defective ; it contains none of the provi- 
sions which in the European systems mitigate the evils of compulsory 
military service; it pays no just regard, on one hand, to the evils 
which it may inflict, while on the other it makes numerous exemptions 
which are inconsistent with fairness and with the spirit of our Consti- 
tution. That contemplates that all of suitable ages alike shall perform 
military duty or pay some equivalent. This purpose is fully expressed 
by the first Constitution of our State: 

"It is of the utmost importance to the safety of every State that it should always be 
in a condition of defence; and it is the duty of every man who enjoys the protection 
of society to be prepared and willing to defend it." 

The present Constitution has a provision to the same effect. Not 
only the organic law of our State, but justice demands that every man 
who enjoys the protection of society should be prepared to defend it. 
Recent legislation on this subject has departed widely from this prin- 
ciple ; no conditions have been prescribed upon which those who have 
scruples of conscience should be excused from bearing arms. Exemp- 
tions have been multiplied until large classes are not only relieved 
from military duty, but also from giving any equivalent for such relief. 
They include numerous officials and other classes who have no claims 
to exemption beyond those which belong to every citizen engaged in 
useful pursuits. 

These favored classes are usually in a better condition to give an 


equivalent than the mass of those upon whom these liabilities now fall. 
There should be no .such unjust distinctions ; all male citizens of suita- 
ble years should be equally liable ; if those who are unfit to perform 
duty are drawn, they should pay such sum as shall be deemed just by 
suitable tribunals. If they are unable to pay, the amount can be 
remitted, or, like firemen, they might render an equivalent in an equally 
honorable branch of the public service. If the lot falls on officials they 
can procure substitutes, or pay such commutations as may be pre- 
scribed by law. 

It is glaringly unjust to allow those enjoying the honors and profits 
of official station to go free of all liabilities, while the only son of the 
widow, or the sole support of the family, may be forced upon a distant 
and dangerous service. I also commend to your attention such other 
provisions as exist in European countries to mitigate the evils which a 
forced conscription involves, and which have been suggested by expe- 
rience in their long and frequent wars. 

The military system adopted at the last session of the Legislature, 
cannot be perfected in time to meet the probable calls made by the 
General Government ; an attempt to make a draft upon the present 
enrollment has been found to involve difficulties and danger of the 
most serious character, and as such draft has therefore been necessarily 
postponed, this subject demands your immediate attention. 

!JC !p Sf* !|C tS 

[An allusion to the soldiera of the war of 1812 is omitted.] 

The Constitution makes it my duty to communicate to you the con- 
dition of the State. I cannot do this without speaking of our Union 
and of the war which afflicts our country, and which also affects the 
extended commerce of New York ; taxes all its pursuits ; has taken 
more than 200,000 men from our workshops and fields ; and has car- 
ried mourning into the homes of our citizens. The genius of our Gov- 
ernment, and the interests of our people, demand that the aspects of 
this war should be discussed with entire freedom. Not only is the 
national life at stake, but every personal, every family, every sacred 
interest is involved. We must grapple with the great questions of 
the day ; we must confront the dangers of our position. The truths 
of our financial and military situation must not be kept back. There 
must be no attempt to put down the full expression of public opinion. 
It must be known and heeded, to enable Government to manage pub- 
lic affairs with success. There is a yearning desire among our people 
to learn their actual condition. They demand free discussion. This 
should be conducted in an earnest, thoughtful, patriotic spirit. The 
solemnity of the occasion, and the sufferings of the war, should reani- 
mate the virtue, the intelligence, and the patriotism of the American 
people. The decay of these has brought our calamities upon us. 
There are now no causes for discord that have not always existed in 
our country, and which were not felt by our fathers in forming the 
Union. They had the greatness, the magnanimity and virtue to com- 
promise and adjust them. The value of the Union they then formed 
has proved to be greater than they hoped. 

Yet we became indifferent to it when we were in the full enjoyment 


of its blessings. We became forgetful of the character and resources 
of our own countrymen, while we had the full benefit of an untram- 
melled commerce with all sections of our land. It was when the world 
was astonished with the power and wealth growing out of our National 
Union, that sectional prejudices and passions were active in destroying 
fraternal affections and generous love of our country. While we 
boasted most of our intelligence, there were those persistently and 
laboriously engaged, through the press, and in legislative halls, in 
teaching the people of the North and the South to undervalue and 
despise each other. Hostile legislation and the division of our 
churches impaired religious and social intercourse. If the North and 
the South had understood the power and purposes of each other, our 
contentions would have been adjusted. This misapprehension, so 
bloody and terrible in its effects, was systematically and laboriously 


Affrighted at the ruin they have wrought, the authors of our 
calamities at the North and South insist that this war was caused by 
an xinavoidable contest about slavery. This has been the subject, not 
the cause of controversy. We are to look for the causes of this war 
in a pervading disregard of the obligations of laws and constitutions ; 
in disrespect for constituted authorities ; and, above all, in the local 
prejudices which have grown up in two portions of the Atlantic 
States, the two extremes of our country, whose remote positions have 
made them less well-informed, and whose interests have made them 
less considerate, with regard to the condition and character of our 
whole people, than those living in the great central and western 
sections of our Union. There is no honest statement of our difficulties 
which does not teach that our people must reform themselves, as well 
as the conduct of the Government and the policy of our rulers. There 
is not a calamity we are suffering which was not clearly foretold by 
our fathers, as the result of the passions and local prejudices that 
have grown up during the past fifteen years. 

It is not too late to save our country if we will enter upon the 
sacred duty in the right spirit and in the right way. When we do so, 
the effect will be seen and felt throughout our land and by the civilized 
world. We shall then strengthen our Government; we shall weaken 
the rebellion ; we shall unite our people ; and the world will recognize 
our capacity for self-government, when we show that we are capable 
of self-reform. 


In the first place, we must emulate the conduct of our fathers, and 
show obedience to constituted authorities, and respect for legal and 
constitutional obligations. " The very idea of the power and right of 
the people to establish Government, presupposes the duty of every 
individual to obey the established Government." Yet a spirit of dis- 
obedience has sapped the foundations of Municipal, State, and National 
authority in every part of our land. It is not only the underlying 


and pervading cause of the war ; it is also the immediate occasion of 
our calamities. 

"When the leaders of the insurrection at the extreme South say 
that free and slave States cannot exist together in the Union, and 
when this is echoed from the extreme North by the enemies of our 
Constitution, both parties say they cannot, simply because they will 
not, respect the laws and the Constitution. This spirit of disloyalty 
must be put down. It is inconsistent with all social order and social 
security ; with safety of persons and property. 

In order to uphold our Government, it is also necessary that we 
should show respect to the authority of our rulers. While acting 
within the limits of their jurisdictions, and representing the interests, 
the honor, and the dignity of our people, they are entitled to defer- 
ence. Where it is their right to decide upon measures and policy, 
it is our duty to obey, and to give a ready support to their decisions. 
This is a vital maxim of liberty. Without this loyalty no government 
can conduct public affairs with success, no people can be safe in the 
enjoyment of their rights. This duty is peculiarly strong under our 
system, which gives the people the right at their elections to sit in 
judgment upon their rulers, to commend or condemn them, to keep 
them in, or expel them from official stations. 

This war should have been averted ; but when its floodgates were 
opened, the Administration could not grasp its dimensions nor control 
its sweep. Government was borne along by the current, and 
struggled as it best could with the resistless tide. Few seemed able 
to comprehend its military or financial problems. Hence we are not 
to sit in harsh judgment upon errors in conduct or policy. But while 
we concede all these excuses for mistakes, we are not to adopt errors, 
nor sanction violations of principle. The same causes which extenuate 
their faults in judgment, must make us more vigilant to guard against 
their influences. Unusual dangers demand unusual vigilance. 


Economy and integrity in the administration of affairs are essential 
at all times ; they are vital in periods of war. If the power of the 
people to sustain the expenses of war is broken down, it is vain that 
we have sent our citizens into the field, and that they have shed their 
blood in unsupported efforts to save our country. 

The opportunities which a state of war gives to unprincipled men 
to prey upon the public treasury, and the difficulty of checking their 
schemes, must be borne in mind, when we judge the integrity of our 
rulers. But while these difficulties should shield them from harsh 
judgment, they are additional reasons for vigilance and caution. It 
is in the nature of war to create powerful financial and ambitious 
interests, eager to prolong its duration. It is one of its chief dangers 
that it builds up an active class who gain power and wealth by the 
taxation imposed upon the labor and property of the mass of citizens. 
This organized class use the National treasury to support schemes of 
plunder or ambition, and the taxes wrung from the people are thus 
made to prolong the state of war and military government. The 


power of our rulers to avert these influences must be aided and 
strengthened by the most ample exposition of financial affairs. 

Extravagance and corruption are violations of the faith pledged to 
the public creditors. The money loaned to the National treasury was 
not brought forward at a time of peace and confidence, but in a time 
of doubt and danger. These claims are held by the rich and poor. 
The amounts owned by corporations represent the interests of women 
and children, the aged and infirm. The right of our soldiers to de- 
mand economy and integrity is of the most sacred character. Never 
in the history of the world have armies of such numbers been made 
up of those who voluntarily left prosperous pursuits and happy 
homes to suffer the dangers and privations of war. When defeat 
or destruction of life by violence or disease thinned the ranks of 
our armies, they promptly and freely stepped forward to the rescue 
of the country's flag. A fearful crime will be done by those who 
shall suffer National bankruptcy to turn into dust and ashes the 
pensions and bounties thus gained at the cost of blood and health 
and exposure. These pensions will, in many cases, be the sole reliance 
of those thus made incapable of self-support. 

It is worse that a government should be overturned by corruption 
than by violence. A virtuous people will regain their rights if torn 
from them, but there is no hope for those who suffer corruption to 
sap and rot away the fabric of their freedom. 


There are not only obligations resting upon our people toward our 
authorities, but under our political system, there are limitations be- 
tween the departments of the Government, and between the State 
and National Governments, which must be observed to secure the 
public safety. At this time these warning words of Washington 
have peculiar significance : — 

" It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should 
inspire caution in those interested with its administration, to confine themselves 
within their respective constitutional spheres ; avoiding in the exercise of the powers 
of one department, to encroach upon the others. The spirit of encroachment tends 
to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever 
the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, 
and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to 
satisfy us of the truth of this position." 

The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments are co-ordi- 
nate. It is equally treasonable to resist the rightful authority of 
either. To overthrow the power of either department is revolution. 
Legislative right, Executive power, and Judicial independence are 
alike sacred. Disregard for the limits of State and National jurisdic- 
tions, and the interference of one department with the duties of 
another, are not only opposed to the genius and organic structure of 
our civil Government, but they have caused disasters in the conduct 
of the war. 

While the War Department sets aside the authority of the Judiciary, 
and overrides the laws of States, the Governors of States meet to 
shape the policy of the General Government, the National Legislature 


appoints committees to interfere with the military conduct of the war, 
and senators combine to dictate the Executive choice of constitutional 
advisers. The natural results of meddling and intrigue have followed. 
While our armies have gained victories in fields remote from the 
capital, within its influence the heroic valor of our soldiers, and the 
skill of our generals, are thwarted and paralyzed. 


Not only must the National Constitution be held inviolate, but the 
rights of States must be respected as not less sacred. There are 
differences of opinion as to the dividing line between State and 
National jurisdictions, but there can be none as to the existence of 
such separate jurisdictions, each covering subjects of legislation and 
jurisprudence essential to the public security and welfare. A consoli- 
dated government in this vast country would destroy the essential 
home-rights and liberties of the people. ' The sovereignties of the 
States, except as they are limited by the Constitution, can never be 
given up. Without them our Government cannot stand. It was 
made and it can be changed by State agency. This is shown by the 
following provisions of the instrument itself: 

"The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be suffi- 
cient to the establishment of this Constitution between the States so 
ratifying the same." 

Again, three-fourths of the States can add to or take away from 
the powers of the General Government, by demanding a convention 
in which amendments can be proposed, which, if ratified by three- 
fourths of the States, become parts of the Constitution. 

While they can thus take away or add to its power, the General 
Government can in no way touch one right of the States, or invade 
their jurisdiction. 

The obligations which rest upon the States to respect the Constitu- 
tion, laws, and authorities of the General Government, also demand 
that the General Government shall show equal respect for the rights 
and constituted authorities of States. 

To State legislation and authorities, we look for the good order of 
society, the security of life and property, the protection of our homes, 
and all that is nearest and dearest to us, in the relations, duties, and 
actions of life. It is dangerous and demoralizing to show contempt 
for State authorities and laws. It undermines alike the foundations of 
State and National Government by breaking up the social system. 
If home laws are not respected, the more general authority will not 
be regarded. 


Our people have, therefore, viewed with alarm, practices and pre- 
tensions on the part of officials, which violate every principle of good 
order, of civil liberty, and of constitutional law. It is claimed that 
in time of war the President has powers, as Commander-in-chief of our 
armies, which authorize him to declare martial law, not only within 
the sphere of hostile movements, where other law cannot be enforced 


but also over our whole land. That at his pleasure he can disregard 
not only the statutes of Congress, but the decisions of the National 
judiciary. That in loyal States the least intelligent class of officials 
may be clothed with power not only to act as spies and informers, 
but, also, without due process of law, to seize and imprison our citi- 
zens, and carry them beyond the limits of the State, to hold them in 
prison without a hearing or a knowledge of the offences with which 
they are charged. Not only the passions and prejudices of these in- 
ferior agents lead them to acts of tyranny, but their interests are adr 
vanced and their position secured by promoting discontent and dis- 
cord. Even to ask the aid of counsel has been held to be an offence. 
It has been well said that "to be arrested for one knows not what ; 
to be confined, no one entitled to ask where ; to be tried, no one can 
say when, by a law nowhere known or established ; or to linger out 
life in a cell without trial, presents a body of tyranny which cannot 
be enlarged." 

The suppression of journals and the imprisonment of persons have 
been glaringly partisan, allowing to some the utmost licentiousness of 
criticism, and punishing others for a fair exercise of the right' of dis- 
cussion. Conscious of these gross abuses, an attempt has been made 
to shield the violators of law and suppress inquiry into their motives 
and conduct. This attempt will fail. Unconstitutional acts cannot 
be shielded by unconstitutional laws. Such attends will not save 
the guilty, while they will bring a just condemnation upon those who 
try to pervert the powers of legislation to the purposes of oppression. 
To justify such action by precedents drawn from the practice of gov- 
ernments where there is no restraint upon legislative power, will be 
of no avail under our system, which restrains the Government and 
protects the citizen by written constitutions. 

I shall not inquire what rights States in rebellion have forfeited, 
but I deny that this rebellion can suspend a single right of the citi- 
zens of loyal States. I denounce the doctrine that civil war in the 
South takes away from the loyal North the benefits of one principle 
of civil liberty. 

It is a high crime to abduct a citizen of this State. It is made my duty 
by the Constitution to see that the laws are enforced. I shall investi- 
gate every alleged violation of our statutes, and see that offenders are 
brought to justice. Sheriffs and district attorneys are admonished 
that it is their duty to take care that no person within their respective 
counties is imprisoned, or carried by force beyond their limits, with- 
out due process of legal authority. The removal to England of per- 
sons charged with offence, away from their friends, their witnesses, 
and means of defence, was one of the acts of tyranny for which we 
asserted our independence. The abduction of citizens from this State, 
for offences charged to have been done here, and carrying them many 
hundreds of miles to distant prisons in other States or Territories, is 
an outrage of the same character upon every principle of right and 

The General Government has ample powers to establish courts, to 
appoint officers to arrest, and commissioners to hear complaints, and 
to imprison upon reasonable grounds of suspicion. It has a judicial 
system in full and undisturbed operation. Its own courts, held at 
convenient points in this and other loyal States, are open for the hear- 


ing of all complaints. If its laws are not ample for the punishment of 
offences, it is due to the neglect of those krpower. 

Government is not strengthened by the exercise of doubtful powers, 
but by a wise and energetic exertion of those which are incontestable. 
The former course never fails to produce discord, suspicion, and dis- 
trust, while the latter inspires respect and confidence. 

This loyal State, whose laws, whose courts, and whose officers have 
thus been treated with marked and public contempt, and whose social 
order and sacred rights have been violated, was at the very time 
sending forth great armies to protect the National Capital, and to 
save the national officials from flight or capture. It was while the 
arms of New York thus sheltered them against rebellion, that, with- 
out consultation with its chief magistrate, a subordinate department 
at Washington insulted our people and invaded our rights. Against 
these wrongs and outrages the people of the State of New York, at 
its late election, solemnly protested. 

The submission of our people to these abuses, for a time only, was 
mistaken at home and abroad for an indifference to their liberties. 
But it 'was only in a spirit of respect for our institutions, that they 
waited until they could express their will in the manner pointed out 
by our laws. At the late election they vindicated at once their regard 
for law and their love of liberty. Amidst all the confusion of civil 
war, they calmly sat in judgment upon the Administration, voting 
against its candidates. Nor was this the only striking proof of respect 
for the Constitution. The minority, of nearly equal numbers, yielded 
to this decision without resistance, although the canvass was animated 
by strong partisan excitements. This calm assertion of rights, and 
this honorable submission to the verdict of the ballot-box, vindicated 
at once the character of our people and the stability of our institutions. 
Had the Secessionists of the South thus yielded to constitutional deci- 
sions, they would have saved themselves and our country from the 
horrors of this war, and they would have found the same remedy for 
every wrong and danger. 


The claim of power under martial law is not only destructive of the 
right of States, but it overthrows the legislative and judicial depart- 
ments of the General Government. It asserts for the President more 
power as the head of the army than as a representative ruler of the 
people. This claim has brought discredit upon us in the eyes of the 
world. It has strengthened the hopes of rebellion. It has weakened 
the confidence of loyal States. It tends to destroy the value of our 
Government in the minds of our people. It leads to discord and dis- 
content at the North, while it has united and invigorated the South. 

If there is a necessity which justifies that policy, let us openly and 
honestly say there is a necessity which justifies a revolution. But this 
pretension is not put forth as a necessity which overleaps for a time 
all restraints, and which is justified by a great exigency ; it is a theory 
which exalts the military power of the President above his civil and 
constitutional rights. It asserts that he may, in his discretion, declare 


war, and then extinguish the State and National constitutions by draw- 
ing the pall of martial law over our vast country. 

" Martial law " defines itself to be a law where war is. It limits its 
own jurisdiction by its very term. But this new and strange doctrine 
holds that the loyal North lost their constitutional rights when the 
South rebelled, and all are now governed by a military dictation. 
Loyalty is thus less secure than rebellion, for it stands without means 
to resist outrages or resent tyranny. Amidst all the horrors that have 
been enacted under martial law in the history of the world, and amidst 
all the justifications attempted of its usages, it was never before held 
that it could be extended over peaceful States. It was never before 
claimed that the power of a military commander was superior to the 
powers of government. 

More than two centuries since, that bold defender of English 
liberty, that honest and independent judge, Lord Coke, declared : 
" Where courts of law are open, martial law cannot be executed," 
and also that "the power that is above the law, is unfit for the King 
to ask or us to grant." Are English laws more sacred, or is English' 
liberty more secure than ours ? 

It was one of the causes set forth in the Declaration of Independence, 
for renouncing allegiance to the King of England, " that he has affected 
to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power." 
During the struggle lor National life, although surrounded by enemies, 
spies, and informers, who upheld the pretensions of the crown, Wash- 
ington never declared martial law, or claimed the right, under any 
circumstances, to make the military superior to the civil authority. 
On the contrary, he was most deferential to the latter. The feeling 
of the fathers on this subject can best be learned by the Constitutions, 
which were formed by the men who established our National Gov- 
ernment ; all of them had provisions inconsistent with this new and 
monstrous pretension. 

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, eight of the 
twelve States which originally made up our Union, explicity declared 
that the military power should, in all cases and at all times, be held 
in exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it ; 
this was expressed in each Constitution, in terms almost identical. It 
is incredible that a people who held these views, and who were jealous 
of their liberties, and who thus restrained State authorities under 
their immediate control, would give to the commander of the army 
of the United States this despotic power; a power which the crown 
of Great Britain has not been permitted to exercise for nearly two 

The measure of power to be exercised under our Government is 
fixed by the Constitution. To make the maxims of other govern- 
ments or the usages of other nations the rule here, would give sanc- 
tion to every outrage, tyranny, and wrong. It would undo what was 
done by our fathers who formed our Government ; it makes the prac- 
tices of despotism or the principles of monarchy higher authorities 
than the written Constitution of our Republic. The unlimited, un- 
controlled despotic power claimed under martial law is of itself a 
reason why it cannot be admitted. The fact that it is inconsistent 
with the purposes, spirit, and genius of our institutions, is conclusive 



against the claim set up for its control over an extent of country and 
a diversity of interests which never existed in the despotisms or mon- 
archical governments from which the precedents are drawn to justify it. 
New York and other States consented to make up the General 
Government only upon the assurance that the original Constitution 
should be so amended as to secure more perfectly the rights of States 
and citizens. These articles were added by the unanimous vote of the 
States : 

Akticle 4. — " The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers 
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. And no 
warrant shall issue but upon probable causes, supported by oath or affirmation, and 
particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized." 

Article 5. — "No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infa- 
mous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in eases 
arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time 
of war or public danger ; • * * * nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, 
without due process of law." 

The want of these restraints in the original instrument endangered 
its adoption. They were inserted to satisfy the public demand. We 
are now told that they are of no avail, in any part of our country, 
when the Executive shall see fit to declare there is war or insurrection 
in any section of this land. 

Such pretensions are in contradiction to the plain language of these 
clauses, and to their settled legal effect. If any differences of con- 
struction be possible, our Constitution provides for their determina- 
tion. These questions will be carried before the proper judicial tribu- 
nals. If the theory of martial law is upheld by them, we will submit, 
and have the Constitution amended. If it is held to be unfounded, it 
must be given up. 

So sacred did our fathers hold constitutional rights, that they placed 
them beyond the reach even of the majority of our people. Written 
constitutions are made not only to carry out the wishes, but also to 
restrain the power of majorities, and to uphold and protect the rights 
of minorities. They give the humblest citizen the right of religious 
freedom against the whole power of our people. No matter how large 
a majority may be, it must not interfere with rights of persons, of 
property, or of conscience. 

The President himself holds his place not by the will of the majority, 
but by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution, which placed him 
in his office by the votes of about 1,800,000, against the votes of about 
2,800,000, who did not agree among themselves as to opposing candi- 
dates. He continues rightfully to hold his office, although the popu- 
lar majorities, even in the State which placed him there, have, in the 
recent elections, declared themselves politically opposed to his Admin- 
istration. The majority are still bound to respect his constitutional 
rights, to uphold his powers, and to sustain his acts done within the 
limits of rightful authority. 

The rights of States were reserved, and the powers of the General 
Government were limited, to protect the people in their persons, 
property, and consciences, in times of danger and civil commotion. 
There is little to fear in periods of peace and prosperity. If we are 
not protected when there are popular excitements and convulsions, our 
Government is a failure. If presidential proclamations are above the 
decisions of the courts and the restraints of the Constitution, then that 


Constitution is a mockery. If it has not the authority to keep the 
Executive within its restraints, then it cannot retain States within the 
Union. Those who hold that there is no sanctity in the Constitution, 
must equally hold that there is no guilt in the rebellion. 

We cannot be silent and allow these practices to become precedents. 
They are as much in violation of our Constitution as the rebellion itself, 
and more dangerous to our liberties. They hold out to the Executive 
every temptation of ambition to make and prolong war. They offer 
despotic power as a price for preventing peace. They are induce- 
ments to each administration to produce discord and incite armed re- 
sistance to law, by declaring that the condition of war removes all 
constitutional restraints. They call about the National capital hordes 
of unprincipled men, who find in the wreck of their country the oppor- 
tunity to gratify avarice or ambition, or personal or political resent- 
ments. This theory makes the passion and ambition of an administra- 
tion antagonistic to the interest and happiness of the people. It makes 
the restoration of peace the abdication of more than regal authority in 
the hands of those to whom is confided the Government of our 

Of the same nature is the recent proclamation of general emancipa- 
tion in certain States and districts. The President had already signed 
an act of Congress, which asserts that the slaves of those in rebellion 
are confiscate. The sole effect of this proclamation, therefore, is to 
declare the emancipation of slaves of those who are not in rebellion, 
and who are, therefore, loyal citizens. It is an extraordinary deduc-. 
tion from the alleged war power, that the forfeiture of the right of 
loyal citizens, and bringing upon them the same punishment imposed 
upon insurgents, is calculated to advance the success of the war, to 
uphold the Constitution, and restore the Union. The class of loyal 
citizens who, above all others, are entitled to the protection of the 
Government, are those who, in the region of the civil war, have re- 
mained true to the flag of our country. And yet the sole force of 
this proclamation is directed against them. May not this measure, so 
clearly impolitic, unjust and unconstitutional, and which is calculated 
to create so many barriers to the restoration of the Union, be miscon- 
strued by the world as an abandonment of the hope or the purpose of 
restoring it — a result to which the State of New York is unalterably 
opposed, and which will be effectually resisted. 

We must not only support the Constitution of the United States 
and maintain the rights of the States, but we must restore our Union 
as it was before the outbreak of the war. The assertion that this war 
was the unavoidable result of slavery is not only erroneous, but it has 
led to a disastrous policy in its prosecution. The opinion that slavery 
must be abolished to restore our Union, creates an antagonism be- 
tween the free and slave States which ought not to exist. If it is 
true that slavery must be abolished by the force of the Federal 
Government; that the South must be held in military subjection ; 
that four millions of negroes must for many years be under the direct 
management of authorities at Washington at the public expense ; 
then, indeed, we must endure the waste of our armies in the field, 
further drains upon our population, and still greater burdens of debt. 
We must convert our Government into a military despotism. The 
mischievous opinion that in this contest the North must subjugate 


aDd destroy the South to save our Union, has weakened the hopes of 
our citizens at home, and destroyed confidence in our success abroad. 


It is a suggestive fact, affording instruction and hope for the future, 
that the theories which have exercised an evil influence on our 
National politics, did not originate in what may be called the heart of 
the Union, among the intimate and well acquainted populations of 
the Central and "Western States, where the States permitting and for- 
bidding slavery are in actual contact, nor in the portions traversed 
by the great east and west lines of commerce and intercourse. They 
have been developed almost entirely in two sections comparatively 
isolated by position, traditions, and peculiar habits of thought, and least 
connected with the more homogenous mass of our people. There have 
been extreme Northern views and extreme Southern views ; but also 
the broader and more tolerant views of the more populous Central 
and Western States. These extend on both sides of that indenturing 
boundary between " slave " and " free " States, which is not a line of 
opposing opinions, but of intermingling interests. Their plains are 
interlocked by confluent rivers, and not divided by mountain ranges. 
These States are a region of harmonizing views and sympathies. 
They are not only bound together by peculiar interests, but also by 
strong reasons for resisting a division on that boundary, which would 
make them frontier States, which would replace their cordial inter- 
course by hostile relationships, and throw upon them all the greatest 
and sharpest evils of the separation. Thus, while they do not share 
the passions and prejudices of those extreme States which strove to 
enlist them in the contest, they have motives of the highest interest 
to restore the old order of things, and of the gravest apprehension 
from a separation. This war blights and destroys the hopes and the 
happiness of this region, while the sections whose passions and inter- 
ests kindled it are mainly remote from the terrible suffering it has 

The Western and Central States enlisted warmly. in a war for the 
Union and Constitution. The northern tier of " slave States " (ex- 
cept Eastern Virginia) earnestly supported the Government in its 
policy while it was consistent with this purpose, which was known as the 
" border State policy." Both the Administration and Congress then 
declared their sole purpose to be to restore the Union and maintain 
the Constitution. When the Administration abandoned this policy, 
and took up the views of extreme Northern States, it lost, at the late 
election, nearly all the political support which the Central and West- 
ern States afforded in the elections of 1860 and 1861. 

"While the North cannot hold the Southern States in subjection 
without destroying the principles of our Government, the great Cen- 
tral and Western States can control the two extremes. They will 
not accept the views of either as safe guides in the conduct of public 
affairs. This is shown by the political history of our country during 
the past four years. "When it was believed that the late Administra- 
tion was controlled by the views of the Gulf States, it lost its power 
in the Central and Western region. The opposing party, to gain 
public support, were -obliged, by assurances and resolutions, to repel 


the charge that they would interfere with slavery in the States, and 
they denounced, as unjust, the imputation that they held the views 
of the Abolitionists of the extreme Northern section. Without these 
pledges, they could not have gained political power. 

When the Gulf States seceded, the central slave States, by large 
majorities, refused to act with them. They sought to avoid war and 
division by the peace conference held in Washington. Unfortunately, 
the dominant leaders of the party which had succeeded at the elec- 
tion of 1860, overlooking the fact that this was done by the vote of 
1,800,000 against a divided opposition of about 2,800,000, rejected 
all terms of compromise and conciliation as inconsistent with the re- 
sults of the election, and attempt to govern and control an agitated and 
convulsed country strictly by theopinions and sentiments of aminority. 

The outbreak of war involved our whole country in its excitements. 
The States of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, and the 
western part of Virginia, adhered to the Union. The purpose then 
avowed by the Administration and asserted by Congress, as to the 
objects of the war, gave to the Administration overwhelming majori- 
ties at the election of 1861, in all the loyal States. All engaged 
hopefully and unitedly in the work of upholding our Constitution, and 
of restoring our Union to its former condition. When this policy 
was changed, and it adopted the sentiments of the extreme Northern 
States, and discarded those of the Central and Western States, a re- 
markable political revolution was the result. 


It has been assumed that this war will end in the ascendancy of the 
views of one or the other of the extremes of our country. Neither 
will prevail ; for neither can command the support of the majority of 
the American people. The great Central and Western States, which 
have the largest share of the population and resources of our country, 
will not accept of either class of purposes. This is the significance of 
the late elections. Their determination is to defend the rights of 
States, and the rights of individuals, and to restore our Union as it 
was. It will be restored by the Central and Western States, both 
free and slave, who are exempt from the violent passions which bear 
control at the extremes. It is a fact full of hope that the prejudices 
between Northern and Southern States are not held on the line of 
contact, but in the sections most remote from each other, and sepa- 
rated by the great controlling regions and resources of the country. 
Those of the central Slave states which rejected the ordinance of 
secession, which sought to remain in the Union, and which were 
driven off by a contemptuous, uncompromising policy, must be 
brought back. The restoration of the whole Union will then be only 
the work of time, with such exertion of power as can be put forth with- 
out needlessly sacrificing the life and treasure of the North in a 
bloody and calamitous contest. We must not wear out the lives of 
our soldiers, nor exhaust the earnings of labor, by a war for uncertain 
ends, or to carry out vague theories. The policy of subjugation and 
extermination means, not only the destruction of the lives and prop- 
erty of the South, but also the waste of the blood and treasure of 
the North. The exertion of armed power must be accompanied by a 


firm and conciliatory policy, to restore our Union with the least possi- 
ble injury to either section. 

To make this Union, New York gave up a vast and rightful political 
power in the Senate. It has proved a greater blessing than the most 
hopeful expected. To save it we have made great sacrifices of blood 
and treasure. Is it not also worth a sacrifice of passion ? Shall we let 
it be torn to fragments without one conciliatory effort to preserve it ? 


Those at the North and the South who have been laboring to break 
down our National Constitution and Union, and to make two confeder- 
acies, overlook the fact that in each of these it would be more difficult 
to adjust conflicting interests, and State representation, than in our 
existing Union. The vast extent of our country, and its varied produc- 
tions and pursuits, have relieved antagonism between commercial, man- 
ufacturing and agricultural interests. They give to each great fields for 
prosperous pursuits. If the producing States of the West are cut off from 
the markets of the South, they will demand a free trade policy which 
will open to them the markets of the world ; and even these will not 
make good the loss. They will not give up their peculiar advantages 
of raising grain and cattle for other pursuits, and the markets of the 
Eastern States and Europe are not equal to western productions. The 
past two years have shown this. With an unusual European call for 
breadstuff's and provisions, with a vast consumption of these arti- 
cles by our American armies, there is a great section of the West 
where the prices do not pay for their production. There is bankruptcy 
and financial distress in the midst of abundant harvests ; and a waste 
of ungathered grain, at a time of the largest exportation of ag- 
ricultural products known in the history of our country. Reduc- 
ing the cost of carrying these products will not cure this trouble. 
Opening the Mississippi, as a way to the markets of the world, will not 
overcome this evil. 

The cotton raised on the Mississippi is the joint product of the pro- 
visions of the North and the labor of the South. The people of the 
West must have the markets of the Southwestern States to bring back 
their prosperity. They must be reunited, politically, socially, and com- 
mercially, to the valley of the Lower Mississippi. Their grain and 
provisions must be converted into cotton, and in this form carried pro- 
fitably to the Eastern and European ports. When they have thus 
gained the returns for their labor, they will once more become the 
supporters of our commerce. To restore this great region to its 
former prosperity, and to regain for ourselves its enriching trade, the 
lower valley of the Mississippi must be brought back into the Union ; 
it must be brought back, too, with all the elements of production and 
wealth unimpaired, with all the advantages of local self-government; 
not a devastated and ruinsd territory, under a blighting, debasing 
military control. 

So closely are the upper and the lower valleys of the Mississippi 
bound together by interest, that when cotton is burned in Louisiana, In- 
dian corn is used as fuel in Illinois. The ruin of the Southern consumer 
brings bankruptcy upon the Northern producer. When the capacity 
of the one to buy is annihilated, the ability of the other to produce is 
weakened or destroyed. This single instance, from many equally 


strong, showsthatneitherin a Northern orSouthern Union can the con- 
flicting interest of agriculture,commerce, and manufactures be adjusted. 


The division of our Union into two or more confederacies would 
re-open in each those questions of distribution of power and relation- 
ship between States, which were settled by our National Constitution. 
Even now, the centralization of power and patronage at the National 
capital causes uneasiness in those States which now are, or will soon 
become, the most populous. The Senate can prevent the passage or 
repeal of laws by the House, which represents the popular will, and, at 
the same time, can control the power of the Executive by rejecting 
treaties formed or nominations made by the President. At this time, 
it assumes to dictate the organization of the Executive Department. 
This body, also, has the advantage of longer tenure of office, while it 
is further removed from popular control. It is in this powerful 
branch of government that States have an equal representation, with- 
out regard to population. 

Even under our present Union, it is for the interest of the small 
States to centralize power in the National Government, as they enjoy 
a disproportionate control in the most influential branch of that 
Government. All now acquiesce in that compromise of the Constitu- 
tion. It is the best adjustment which can be made between the 
larger and smaller States. 

So long as all the States of our present Union were represented in 
Congress, this tendency was checked by the existence of States with 
small populations distributed in different sections of our country, and 
somewhat equally among the agricultural, commercial, and manufac- 
turing regions. Hitherto, no injurious or irritating results have been 
caused. A division of the Union, or the disfranchisement of the 
Southern States by putting them back into the condition of mere 
territories, or a representation dictated by the military power of 
Government, would make inevitable a re-adjustment of political power. 
If the Southern States are cut off or disfranchised, every map of our 
country will constantly suggest this to the public mind. In the 
Northern Union, the group of six small New England States, with 
New Jersey and Delaware lying on the Atlantic coast, far removed 
from the central and western sections of our country, with united 
populations only about equal to that of this State, would balance, in 
the controlling branch of the National Legislature, the great produc- 
ing States of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. In a few years, each of these States 
will have populations greater than that of all New England. This 
disparity of political power would be increased by the fact that the 
population and pursuits of New England, confined within very limited 
boundaries, have the uniformity of one community, while the larger 
States have diversified and distinctive pursuits to prevent them from 
acting so readily in concert. 

The danger of controversy would be increased by our vast National 
debt. This mainly held by a few Atlantic States, divides our country 
into the perilous sectional relations of debtor and creditor regions. 
The ownership of this debt cannot be diffused over our country so 


that the same communities which pay taxes will receive incomes. The 
incidental advantages of protective tariffs growing out of this debt, 
would he largely gained by the creditor States, which also enjoy this 
disproportionate share of political power. The great producing States 
would be compelled to pay a heavy taxation to other communities at 
a time when the division of our Union would deprive them of their 
most profitable markets ; and heavy duties would tend to diminish 
the demands of foreign countries for their productions. No one can 
look forward to such agitations and discussions without the deepest 

The smaller States, grouped upon the shores of the Atlantic, were 
all original parties to the Constitution. They are gloriously associated 
with the history of the Revolutionary struggle. They bear names 
that are honored, and have memories that are cherished in every part 
of the land. They must not, through the folly of blind and bigoted 
leaders, lose the great special political powers which are given to them 
by the compromises of the Constitution. They must not suffer that 
instrument, which secures to them peculiar advantages, to be weakened 
or destroyed. 


There is but one way to save us from demoralization, discord, and 
repudiation. Our Union must be restored, complete in all its parts. 
No section must be disorganized beyond the unavoidable necessities 
of war. All must be made to feel that the mighty efforts we are 
making to save our Union are stimulated by a purpose to. restore 
peace, prosperity, and happiness to every section. 

The vigor of war will be increased when the public mind and ener- 
gies are concentrated upon the patriotic, generous purpose to restore 
our Union for the common good of all sections. It cannot be so united 
upon any bloody, any barbarous, any revolutionary, or any unconsti- 
tutional scheme, looking merely to the gratification of hatred, or pur- 
poses of party ambition, or sectional advantage. Every exertion of 
power, every influence of persuasion, every measure of reconciliation, 
must be used to restore this Union to its former condition. Let no 
one demand that the blood of his neighbor shall be shed ; that the 
fruits of the labor of our citizens shall be eaten up by taxation, to gain 
this end, and then refuse to give up his own passions, or to modify his 
own opinions, to save our country and to stop the fearful waste we 
are now making of treasure and of life. Let no one think that the 
people who have refused to yield this Union to rebellion at the South 
will permit its restoration to be prevented by fanaticism at the North. 


The pervading sentiment of the great controlling sections of our 
country will not only save our Union, but it will do so in a way har- 
monizing with the genius of out institutions, the usages of our people, 
and the letter and spirit of our Constitution. It will manifest itself in 
the customary manner by discussion and political action. The framers 
of our Constitution, foreseeing that events would render it necessary 
for the people of the several States, not only thus to address our Gov- 


eminent, but also to produce a concert of purpose and action between 
different communities, provided in the Constitution, that " Congress 
shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, 
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the 
Government for a redress of grievances." 

Our present alarming condition naturally calls for such expressions 
of public opinion with respect to the objects of this war, and the spirit 
in which it should be conducted, and the end for which it should be 
waged : when the public will is clearly expressed it must be recog- 
nized and respected by Government. It will also make itself effective 
in our frequently-recurring elections, which peacefully but rapidly form 
a body of Government in harmony with its purposes. It will influ- 
ence Congressional action, or it may lead to a convention of the States. 

The condition of our country is not hopeless, unless it is made so by 
passions and prejudices which are inconsistent with the government 
of a great country. This war, with all its evils, has taught us great 
truths, which if accepted by our people will place the future relations 
of the various sections of our Union on the firmest basis. It has made 
us know the value of the Union itself, not only in our internal but in 
our foreign relations. It has given us a wisdom and knowledge of 
each other, which, had we possessed earlier, would have averted our 
present calamities. 

If the interests of different sections of our country are conflicting in 
some respects, they are so balanced and adjusted by nature, that there 
is an irrepressible tendency to intercourse, harmony, and Union. 
This tendency must, in the end, overcome mutual misapprehension. 
We have also learned the great mutual strength of the North and of 
the South, and amid all the bitterness of feeling engendered by the 
war, each section has been taught to respect the power, resources, and 
courage of the other. 

We must accept the condition of affairs as they stand. At this 
moment the fortunes of our country are influenced by the results of 
battles. Our armies in the field must be supported ; all constitutional 
demands of our General Government must be promptly responded to. 

But war alone will not save the Union. The rule of action which is 
used to put down an ordinary insurrection is not applicable to a wide- 
spread armed resistance of great communities. It is weakness and 
folly to shut our eyes to this truth. 

Under no circumstances can the division of the Union be conceded. 
We will put forth every exertion of power ; we will use every policy 
of conciliation ; we will hold out every inducement to the people of 
the South, to return to their allegiance, consistent with honor ; we will 
guarantee them every right, every consideration demanded by the 
Constitution, and by that fraternal regard which must prevail in a 
common country ; but we can never voluntarily consent to the break- 
ing up of the Unipn of these States, or the destruction of the Consti- 

Humbly acknowledging our dependence upon Almighty God, and 
repenting our pride, ingratitude, and disobedience, let us pray that our 
minds may be inspired with the wisdom, the magnanimity, the faith 
and charity, which will enable us to save our country. 

Horatio Seymour. 


Governor Seymour and the Soldiers. 

Special Message to the Legislature in regard to allowing the Soldiers to Vote. 

State of New Yobk, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, April 13, 1863. J 

To the Legislature : — The question of a method by which those 
of our fellow-citizens who are absent in the military and naval service 
of the nation may be enabled to enjoy their rights of suffrage, is one 
of great interest to the people of this State, and has justly excited 
their attention. I do not doubt that the members of the Legislature 
participate in the general desire, that those who so nobly endure 
fatigue and suffering, and peril life in the hope that, by such sacrifices, 
our National Union may be preserved and our Constitution upheld, 
shall, if possible, be secured an opportunity for the free and intelligent 
exercise of all their political rights and privileges. The Constitution 
of this State requires the elector to vote in the election district in 
which he resides ; but it is claimed by some that a law can be passed 
whereby the vote of an absent citizen may be given by his authorized 
representative. It is clear to me, that the Constitution intends that 
the right to vote shall only be exercised by the elector in person. It 
would be an insult and injury to the soldier to place the exercise of 
this right upon a doubtful or unconstitutional law, when it can be 
readily secured to him by a constitutional amendment. 

While my own opinion upon the point is decided, and will govern 
my action, it is well to consider the matter under a less positive aspect. 
If we concede that it is one of doubt, we should not close our eyes to 
the possible results of an attempt to exercise it, in view of that doubt, 
which is felt by men of all parties in both branches of the Legislature, 
and elsewhere. It is possible that the next presidential election may 
be decided by the vote of a single State ; and if votes by proxy are 
authorized, it is not impossible that such votes would, in such States, 
decide the election in favor of one party or the other. It surely can- 
not be necessary to impress upon any patriotic, thoughtful mind, the 
fearful danger which would attend the complication of the disastrous 
civil war which now afflicts the country by the interposition of a 
well-founded doubt as to persons rightfully entitled to the presiden- 
tial office. The most intense earnestness and the most desperate 
determination which have ever marked the conflicts of men, would 
characterize such a contest. The decision of partisan officers, the 
secret plottings, excited debates, and interested conclusions of the 
two houses of Congress ; and the action, more or less violent, of the 
people, at a period when the public mind is violently inflamed, 
and when the principles and rules which have formed the real 
strength of our institutions are dangerously unsettled, would 
convulse this community. That man must be sanguine indeed, 
who can hope that our National Government would survive such 
contests. It is not necessary that the effort to secure to our gallant 
soldiers and seamen a just participation in the choice of the next 
administration of the National Government should be subjected to 
such dangers. A proposed amendment of the Constitution, giving 


the Legislature the needful power upon this subject, can be adopted 
at the present session, and if concurred in by the next Legislature, 
can be submitted to the people in such season that, if their decision 
is favorable, the action which would be afterward necessary could be 
taken by that Legislature. I respectfully recommend that this course 
be taken, rather than the passage of an unconstitutional law, or one 
of questionable validity. Great care should be taken to prevent, by 
the most efficient checks, the abuses and frauds to which the exercise 
of the right of suffrage by absentees would be liable. These safe- 
guards would properly be a matter of legislation after the adoption 
of a constitutional amendment. Measures should be taken for secur- 
ing perfect independence to absent soldiers and seamen in giving 
their votes, which shall be so comprehensive and efficient as to relieve 
any reasonable apprehension upon this point. 

The conduct and policy of high' officials have caused great distrust 
in relation to the freedom from restraint and coercion which should 
be accorded to the absentees in the exercise of this right. The people 
of this State will never consent that their absent brethren in the Na- 
tional service shall be debarred, when they discharge the most sacred 
duty of the citizen, from the enjoyment of that entire freedom of opin- 
ion which they have, by an emphatic expression at the ballot-box, 
secured for themselves, and which they will firmly maintain. It would 
be worse than mockery to allow those secluded in camps or upon 
ships to vote, if they are not permitted to receive letters and papers 
from their friends, or if they have not the same freedom in reading 
public journals accorded to their brethren at home, to aid them in the 
formation of their opinions in respect to the conduct of those in power, 
the issues to be decided at the election, and the character of the op- 
posing candidates. 

If the expression of their opinions by the votes they give, or by cus- 
tomary political action, is to subject officers to dismissal from service, 
and soldiers to increased privation, hardships, and exposure, the flames 
of civil war will be kindled at the North. I have noticed with deep 
regret attempts on the part of some of the officers of the National 
Government to interfere with the free enjoyment of their political 
opinions by persons in the army. 

There have been marked instances of this kind which have justly 
excited deep feeling throughout the country. These inexcusable acts 
of official tyranny are rendered more objectionable by the language 
used in their execution, which is at once opprobious in terms and a 
wanton and unjnst attack upon one-half of the people of sovereign and 
loyal States. While subordinate officers are thus punished for doing 
their duty as citizens at their homes, those of high rank have been 
employed to interfere in the elections of States in which they are not 

No reasonable man can suppose that the people of this country will 
permit the whole army, enlisted for the purpose of maintaining the 
National Government, to be used for electioneering purposes by those 
who are charged with the temporary administration of that Govern- 
ment, or who are seeking an additional term of power. 

I hope that the wisdom of those to whom the destinies of the nation 
are now. confided by the Constitution will admonish them in season of 
the dangers of acts marked by these features of wrong and oppression. 


Whether it does or not, I have confidence that the wisdom of the 
people and the Legislature of this State will be sufficient to secure to 
its absent soldiers and seamen the freedom of political opinion and 
action, which is their inalienable right, and in that confidence I have 
made the recommendations above expressed. 

Hokatio Seymour. 

Governor Seymour and the Soldiers. 

Special Message Vetoing the Soldiers' Franchise Bill. 

State op New York, Executive Department, j 
Albany, April 24, 1863. j 

To the Senate : — I return without my signature the bill entitled 
" An Act to secure the Elective Franchise to the qualified Voters of 
the Army and Navy of the State of New York." 

It is so clearly in violation of the Constitution, in the judgment of 
men of all parties, that it is needless to dwell upon that objection to 
the bill. While it only received in the Assembly the number of votes 
necessary to its passage, some of those who voted for it openly stated 
their opposition to the measure. 

After its passage, that branch of the Legislature, with great unanimity 
and without regard to political differences, adopted the resolution for 
an amendment of the Constitution, to secure the objects of this bill, 
in accordance with the recommendations of the message which I 
lately sent to the Legislature on this subject. I do not doubt that 
the Senate will also pass the resolutions with the same unanimity, and 
then the whole subject will be disposed of with the assent and 
approval of all, and in, a mode free from all doubts and uncertainties. 

This bill is not only unconstitutional, but it is also extremely defec- 
tive and highly objectionable. 

The time yet remaining of the present session will not permit me 
to specify all the objections to its details. It does not require the 
proxy of the soldier to be proven before the representative of the 
State, but gives the power only to the field-officers of regiments who 
have been recently brought within the operation of the most arbitrary 
rules of military government ; it does not permit the soldier to choose 
the friend on whom he would most confide as his proxy, but requires 
him to select one from the class of freeholders who are not recognized 
by our Constitution as entitled to special privileges ; it subjects the 
person appointed (though without his consent) as a proxy to the 
penalties of a criminal offence, fine and imprisonment, for refusing or 
neglecting to deposit the vote he receives, though he may believe that 
it is not genuine ; it provides no means of verifying at the polls the 
authenticity of proxies ; it requires the inspectors to deposit in the 
ballot-box, under the penalties of a criminal offence, the ballots received 
with any proxy, however much reason there may be to doubt its 
authenticity ; it allows proxies and ballots to be sent by mail, or 
otherwise, which permits a messenger to be selected by other persons 
than the voter ; it does not require the messenger to be sworn ; it 


does not require him to deliver the proxies and ballots to the persons 
named as proxies, but permits him to destroy or change the proxies 
and ballots, or deliver them to any unsworn or unauthorized person he 
may select ; it does not make the change or destruction of the ballots, 
except by the person appointed proxy, a criminal offence, or punish 
such an act in any manner ; it fails to protect the secrecy of the ballot ; 
and it requires the person named as proxy to deposit in the ballot-box 
the ballots delivered to him with a proxy, by an unknown person, 
although they may be different from those he knows were sent by the 
voter. This brief statement will be sufficient to satisfy all of the 
many opportunities this bill affords for gross frauds upon the electors 
in the army and upon the ballot-box at home. The deposit of a ballot 
is a final and irrevocable act, and the people will never permit ballots 
to be received unless with abundant guarantees that they are beyond 
doubt the free act of the electors. 

The bill is in conflict with vital principles of electoral purity and 
independence. It is well said by Dr. Leiber, in his work on " Civil 
Liberty and Self-government," that " all elections must be superin- 
tended by election judges and officers, independent of the Executive 
or any other organized or unorganized power of the Government. The 
indecency as well as the absurdity and immorality of the Government 
recommending what is to be voted, ought never permitted." 

The bill not only fails to guard against abuses and frauds, but it 
offers every inducement and temptation to perpetrate them, by those 
who are under the immediate and particular control of the General 
Government. That Government has not hesitated .to interfere directly 
with the local elections by permitting officers of high rank to engage 
in them, in States of which they are not citizens. In marked instances 
high and profitable military commissions have been given to those 
who never rendered one day of military duty, who have never been 
upon a battle-field, but who have been in receipt of military pay and 
military honors, to support them in their interference, in behalf of the 
administration, with the elective franchises of different sovereign and 
loyal States. 

Not only have some thus been rewarded for going beyond the 
bounds of military propriety, but others and subordinate oflicers 
have been punished and degraded for the fair and independent ex- 
ercise of their political rights at their own homes, and in the perform- 
ance of their civil duties. I call the attention of the Legislature 
and the public to the following order : — 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, } 
"Washington, March 13, 1863. f 

Special Order, Mo. 119. 


* * * * * • * * * 

34. By direction of the President, the following officers are hereby dismissed from 
the service of the United States. 
******* * * 

Lieutenant A. J. Edgerly, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, for circulating 
Copperhead tickets, and doing all in his power to promote the success of the rebel cause 
in this State. 

By order of the Secretary of War. 

L. Thomas, Adjutant-General. 
To the Governor of New Hampshire. { 


I regret to say that I have ample evidence that this order was is 
sued in the terms above recited. 

This order, unjust and unworthy in its purposes, and most offensive 
in its terms, punishes a citizen and a soldier for supporting a candidate 
for the office of Governor in his own State who received many thou- 
sand more of the votes of the electors than any other candidate for 
the station, including the one who represented more particularly the 
views and purposes of the National Administration. Such acts are 
more disastrous to the cause of our Union than the loss of battles. 
Such violent measures of partisanship weaken, divide, and distract 
the people of the North at the same moment they are called upon, 
without distinction of party, to make vast sacrifices of blood and 
treasure to uphold the Government. Notwithstanding the notoriety 
of these acts, the bill I return throws no guard about the rights and 
independence of our soldiers in the field. An amendment, designed to 
protect them from coercion and fraud, was rejected in one branch of 
the Legislature. 

I deem it my duty not only to state these objections to the bill 
as reasons why I cannot sign it, but also to protest, on behalf of the 
people of this State, against the wrong of which I have spoken ; and 
for the further purpose of securing such discussion in regard to them 
when the Constitution is amended in pursuance of the recommenda- 
tions I have submitted, that the legislation which may be hereafter 
had shall be calculated to secure the rights of our citizens and soldiers, 
and to punish every attempt to invade their rights by force or fraud. 

Horatio Seymour. 

Speech of Governor Seymour at the Presentation of 
Regimental Colors to the State Legislature, April 
24, 1863. 

At the presentation of worn-out colors, and those of returned or 
consolidated regiments, to the Joint Convention of the State Senate 
and Assembly, Governor Seymour presiding, spoke as follows : — 

Gentlemen of the_ Senate and Assembly : — I can add, by no 
words of mine, to this impressive and solemn scene. You have 
heard from a Representative of the Senate, and from a member of 
the Assembly of the State. Tou have listened to the earnest words 
of one who, himself a soldier, can with so much truth and eloquence 
depict the dangers and the heroism of a soldier's life. You have 
heard, too, the beautiful thought and musical language of the poet. 
But above all, you have seen the banners, which, but a short time 
since, were carried forth in all their brightness and their beauty, 
borne by stalwart men who went out from their happy homes to fight 
the battles of their country, brought back to us blood-stained and 
torn, and telling us more eloquently than can any language, of the 
heroism and devotion of their defenders. 

Alas I for the unreturning brave ! Alas ! that so few of those 


who fought beneath the folds of these flags, are left to tell their his- 
tory as they came forth from the terrible strife defaced and tattered, 
but more dear to us than in their original brightness and beauty. 

I will not weaken the effect of this touching and impressive cere- 
mony by any further remarks. May Almighty God, in His goodness, 
grant that the heavy sacrifices we have made, may not be in vain ; 
but that with patriotism quickened and elevated by the trials we 
have undergone, we may be taught to better appreciate and more 
faithfully discharge the duties of American citizens ; and may He, 
who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand, pardoning our many 
sins, restore to us our glorious and beloved Union, so that we may 
again enjoy the blessings of peace, beneath a Government reinvigo- 
rated and strengthened by the deep sorrows and the fierce struggle 
through which it has passed. 

The Pennsylvania Invasion. 

Official Telegraphic Correspondence. 


" Washington, June 15, 1863. 

" To His Excellency, Gov. Seymour : — The movements of the rebel 
forces in Virginia are now sufficiently developed to show that General 
Lee, with his whole army, is moving forward to invade the States of 
Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other States. 

"The President, to repel this invasion promptly, has called upon 
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Western Virginia, for one hundred 
thousand (100,000) militia, for six (6) months, unless sooner discharg- 
ed. It is important to have the largest possible force in the least 
time, and if other States would furnish militia for a short term, to be 
credited on the draft, it would greatly advance the object. Will you 
please inform me immediately, if, in answer to a special call of the 
President, you can raise and forward say twenty thousand (20,000) 
militia, as volunteers without bounty, to be credited on the draft of 
your State, or what number you can probably raise ? 

"E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 


"Albany, June 15, 1863. 
" Hon.E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington : — I will spare 
no efforts to send you troops at once. I have sent orders to the militia 
officers of the State. 

"Horatio Seymour." 



"Albany, June 15, 1863. 

" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington : — I will order 
the New York and Brooklyn troops to Philadelphia at once. Where 
can they get arms, if they are needed ? 

"Horatio Seymour." 


"Albany, Tuesday, June 15, 1863. 

" Brig.-Gen. Wm. Hall, Third Brigade National Guard : — Order 
all the regiments in your command to he ready to go to Philadelphia 
at once, on short service. 

"Horatio Seymour." 

' Order No. 3. 


ers Third Brig 

'New York, June 15, 1863. 

Headquarters Third Brigade, N. T. S. N. G., ) 

" Commandants of regiments are hereby directed to report to 
Gen. Wm. Hall, at his quarters, at 11 o'clock a.m., Tuesday morning, 
by order of the Commander-in-chief, Horatio Seymour, to be ready 
to go to Philadelphia at once on short service. The brigade drill for 
the 17th instant is hereby countermanded. 

" By order of General Wm. Hall, 

"James R. Smith, Q. M. " 


"Albany, June 15, 1863. 
"Brigadier-General J. C. Smith, 11th Brigade National Guard: — 
Order all the regiments in your command to be ready to go to 
Philadelphia at once, on short service. 

"Horatio Seymour." 


"Headquarters First Brigade, N. Y. S. N.G., ) 
"New York, June 15, 1863. j 

" Special Order. 

" By order of the Commander-in-chief of the State of New York 


the several regiments of this brigade will hold themselves in readi- 
ness to depart for Philadelphia at once, on short service. 
" By order of Brig. -General C. B. Spicee. 

"R. H. Hoadley, Brigade-Major and Inspector." 


"Albany, June 15, 1863. 

" Colonel James Bagley, Sixty-ninth New York Regiment : — The 
Governor desires to know immediately how soon your regiment can 
be in readiness to move to Philadelphia, on short service ? Can't you 
be first ? 

" John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General." 

[Note. — A communication, worded precisely the same as the above, was sent to the 
commanding officer of each militia regiment. — Editors.] 


"Albany, June 15, 1863. 
" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington : — We have 
about two thousand enlisted volunteers in this State. I will have 
them consolidated into companies and regiments, and sent on at once. 
You must provide them with arms. 

"Horatio Seymour." 


" Washington, June 15, 1863. 
"To Governor Seymour: — The President desires me to return 
his thanks, with those of the department, for your prompt response. 
A strong movement of your city regiments to Philadelphia would be 
a very encouraging movement, and do great good in giving strength 
in that State. The call had to be for six months, unless sooner dis- 
charged, in order to comply with the law. It is not likely that more 
than thirty days' service — perhaps not so long — would be required. 
Can you forward your city regiments speedily ? Please reply early. 
" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 


"Albany, June 15, 1863. 
"Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington :— By 



request of Governor Seymour, who has called me here, I write to say 
that the New York city regiments can go with full ranks for any time 
not over three months — say from eight to ten thousand men. The 
shorter the period the larger will he the force. For what time will 
they be required ? Please answer immediately. 

" C. W. Sandford, Major-General." 


""Washington, June 16, 1863. 

" To Major-General Sandford : — The Government will be glad 
to have your city regiments hasten to Pennsylvania for any term of 
service ; it is not possible to say how long they might be useful, but 
it is not expected that they would be detained more than three (3) 
months, possibly not longer than twenty (20) or thirty (30) days. 

"They would be accepted for three (3)' months, and discharged as 
soon as the present exigency is over. If aided at the present time by 
your troops, the people of that State might soon be able to raise a 
sufficient force to relieve your city regiments. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 

governor Seymour's order for the movement of troops. 


" Albany, June 16, 1863. 

' General Headquarters, State of Net Tore, ) 

" Special Orders. 

" Major-General Sandford, commanding First Division New York 
State National Guard, is directed to send as many regiments as 
he can furnish, and as full as possible, to Harrisburg, in Pennsyl- 
vania, and report to Major-General Couch, commanding department, 
to assist in repelling the invasion of that State. 

" General Sandford will exercise his discretion as to the organization 
of these regiments into such brigades as he may deem expedient, 
and will designate the brigadier-generals from his division, who will 
command them during the present term of duty. 

" He is authorized to direct requisitions to be made upon the com- 
missary-general for arms and accoutrements, and upon the quarter- 
master-general for clothing and camp equipage. 

"By order of Horatio Seymour, Commander-in-chief. 

" John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General. " 


"Albany, June 16, 1863. 

" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. :— 
Four returned volunteer regiments can be put into the field at 


once, for three months' service. Can arras and accoutrements be sup- 
plied in New York ? Old arms not fit for the field. 

" J. T. Spbague, Adjutant-General." 


" Washington, June 16, 1863. 

" To Adjutant-General Sprague : — Upon your requisition, any 
troops you may send to Pennsylvania will be armed and equipped in 
New York, with new arms. 

" Orders have been given to the Bureau of Ordnance. 

"Edwin M. Stanton." 


"Washington, June 16, 1863. 

" To Adjutant-General Sprague : — The Quartermaster-General 
has made provision for the clothing and equipment of- the troops 
that may go to Pennsylvania. The issues to be made at Harrisburg. 
You will make requisition for subsistence and transportation as here- 
tofore, for troops forwarded from your State. 

"Edwin M. Stanton." 


"Washington, June 16, 1863. 
" To Act. Asst. Adjutant-General Stonehouse : — The Quarter- 
master-General has been directed to clothe the volunteers from 
your State, upon their reaching their destination, and provision has 
been made for that purpose. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 


"Albany, June 16, 1863. 
" Governor Cuetin, Harrisburg : — I am pushing forward troops as 
fast as possible ; regiments will leave New York to-night. All will 
be ordered to report to General Couch. 

" Horatio Seymour." 


" Albany, June 16, 1863. 
" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. : — 
Officers of old organizations here will take the field with their men, 


and can march to-morrow, if they can be paid irrespective of ordnance 
accounts. The Government would still have a hold upon them to 
refund for losses. 

" John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General." 


"Albany, June 18, 1863. 
" To Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C ; — 
About twelve thousand (12,000) men are now on the move for Har- 
risburg, in good spirits and well equipped. 

" The Governor says : ' Shall troops continue to be forwarded ? ' 
Please answer. 

" Nothing from Washington since first telegrams. 

" John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General." 


"Albany, June 18, 1863. 
" To Governor Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa. : — About twelve thousand 
men are now moving and are under orders for Harrisburg, in good 
spirits and well equipped. 

" Governor Seymour desires to know if he shall continue to send 
men. He is ignorant of your real condition. 

" John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General." 

the president s second communication of thanks. 

" Washington, June 19, 1863. 
" To Adjutant-General Sprague: — The President directs me to 
return his thanks to his Excellency, Governor Seymour, and his staff, 
for their energetic and prompt action. Whether any further force is 
likely to be required, will be communicated to you to-morrow, by 
which time it is expected the movements of the enemy will be more 
fully developed. 

"Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 


"Albany, June 20, 1863. 
" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington :— The 
Governor desires to be informed if he shall continue sending on the 
militia regiments from this State ; if so, to what extent and to what 

" J. B. Stonebouse, Acting Asst. Adjutant-General." 



" "Washington, June 21, 1863. 
"To Acting Asst. Adjutant- General Stonehouse : — The Presi- 
dent desires Governor Seymour to forward to Baltimore all the militia 
regiments that he can raise. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 


""War Department, "Washington, June 21, 1863. 

" Dear Sir : — I cannot forbear expressing to you the deep obligation 
I feel for the prompt and candid support you have given to the Gov- 
ernment in the present emergency. The energy, activity, and patriot- 
ism you have exhibited, I may be permitted personally and officially 
to acknowledge without arrogating any personal claims on my part in 
such service, or to any service whatever. 

" I shall be happy to be always esteemed your friend. 

" Edwin M. Stanton. 

" His Excellency, Hoeatio Seymour." 

governor curtin to governor seymour. 

" Harrisburg, Pa., July 2, 1863. 

" To His Excellency, Governor Seymour : — Send forward more 
troops as rapidly as possible. Every hour increases the necessity for 
large forces to protect Pennsylvania. The battles of yesterday were 
not decisive, and if Meade should be defeated, unless we have a large 
army, this State will be overrun by the rebels. 

" A. G. Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania." 

adjutant-general sprague to governor curtin. 

"New York, July 3, 1863. 

" To Governor Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa. : — Your telegram is re- 
ceived. Troops will continue to be sent. One regiment leaves to- 
day, another to-morrow, all in good pluck. 

"John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General." 


Gov. Seymour at the Academy of Music, New York, 
July 4, 1863. 

Review of the Situation — Action of Democrats and Republicans for past two 
Tears— Necessity of a united North — Appeal and Warning to Republi- 
cans — Demand for Constitutional Liberty and Rights — Objects of Gov- 
ernment — Powers of the Constitution — Advice to the Democracy. 

Fellow-Citizens : — When I accepted the invitation to speak, with 
others at this meeting, we were promised the downfall of Vicksburg, 
the opening of the Mississippi, the probable capture of the confederate 
capital, and the exhaustion of the rebellion. By common consent all 
parties had fixed upon this day when the results of the campaign 
should be known, to mark out that line of policy which they felt that 
our country should pursue. But in the moment of expected victory 
there came the midnight cry for help from Pennsylvania, to save its 
despoiled fields from the invading foe, and, almost within sight of this 
great commercial metropolis, the ships of your merchants were burned 
to the water's edge. Since that time I have occupied every hour, to 
the point of physical exhaustion, to rally our troops to the rescue of 
an adjoining sister State; to organize the militia of our own State for 
our defence, and to place New York in that condition of dignity and 
power which a great State should ever hold, that truly respects its 
own rights. I have concerned myself with those measures that I 
thought were calculated to protect the commerce of this great city. 
I stand before you, then, upon this occasion, not as one animated by 
expected victories, but feeling, as all feel who are now within the sound 
of my voice, the dread uncertainties of the conflicts which rage around 
us, not alone in Pennsylvania, but along the long line of the Missis- 
sippi — contests that are carrying down to bloody graves so many of 
our fellow-countrymen, so many of our friends — that are spreading 
renewed mourning throughout this great broad land of ours. Under 
circumstances like these, I shall allow to go unnoticed many topicB 
upon which I meant to speak on this occasion. They might seem to 
jar with the solemnity of the occasion. They might not be in keep- 
ing with the feelings which now press on each breast of ours. But 
there is one subject to which even now I feel it my duty to call your 
attention. There is one appeal that I want now to make to this whole 
community, irrespective of party, and I pray that you may hear that 
appeal. A few years ago we stood before this community to warn 
them of the dangers of sectional strife, but our fears were laughed at. 
At a later day, when the clouds of war overhung our country, we 
implored those in authority to compromise that difficulty, for we had 
been told by a great orator and statesman, Burke, that there never 
yet was a revolution that might not have been prevented by a com- 
promise made in a timely and graceful manner. Our prayers were 
unheeded. Again, when the contest was opened, we invoked those 
who had the conduct of affairs not to underrate the power of the ad- 
versary — not to underrate the courage, and resources, and endurance, 
of our own sister States. All this warning was treated as sympathy 
with treason. You have the results of these unheeded warnings and 

-n-^^-x J-'J^^ii x \_/i' jm. u kJiVJ. -LI . 

unheeded prayers; they haye stained our soil with blood ; they have 
carried mourning into thousands of homes ; and to-day they have 
brought our country to the very verge of destruction. Once more I 
come before you, to offer again an earnest prayer, and bid you to listen 
to a warning. Our country is not only at this time torn by one of the 
bloodiest wars that has ever ravaged the face of the earth, or of which 
history gives an account, but, if we turn our faces to our own loyal 
States, how is it there ? Do you not find the community divided into 
political parties, strongly arrayed against each other, and using with 
regard to each other terms of reproach and defiance ? Is it not said 
by those, who support more particularly the Administration, that we 
who differ honestly, patriotically, sincerely from them with regard to 
the line of duty, are men of treasonable purposes and traitors to our 
country ? 

But on the other hand, is it not true that many of our organization 
look upon this Administration as hostile to our rights and liberties ; 
look upon our opponents as men who would do us wrong in regard 
to our most sacred franchises? I need not call your attention to the 
tone of the press or to the tone of public feeling, to show you how, 
at this moment, parties are thus exasperated, and stand in almost defi- 
ant attitudes to each other. 

A few years ago we were told that sectional strife, waged in times 
like these, would do no harm to our country ; but you have seen the 
sad and bloody results. Let us be admonished now in time, and take 
care that this irritation, this feeling which is growing up in our midst, 
shall not also ripen into civil troubles that shall carry the evils of war 
into our very midst and about our own homes. 

Now, upon one thing all parties are agreed, and that is this : Until 
we have a united North we can have no successful war. Until we 
have a united, harmonious North we can have no beneficent peace. 
How shall we have harmony ? How shall the unity of all parties be 
obtained ? I wish to say a few words to you upon this point, which, 
I firmly believe, is one of the most important considerations to which 
I could call your attention. 

Is harmony to be coerced ? I appeal to you, my Republican friends, 
when you say to us that the nation's life and existence hangs upon 
harmony and concord here, if you yourselves, in your serious moments, 
believe that this is to be produced by seizing our persons, by infring- 
ing upon our rights, by insulting our homes, and by depriving us of 
those cherished principles for which our fathers fought, and to which 
we have always sworn allegiance ? I do appeal to you, my Republi- 
can friends, and beg that you will receive this appeal in the earnest 
and patriotic spirit which prompts me to make it. I appeal to you if 
you are not doing yourselves and your country a great wrong when 
you declare that harmony and unity of parties are essential to save 
the nation's life, essential to the highest interests of our land, and yet 
stigmatize men as true and honest as yourselves, and whom experi- 
ence has proved to have been wiser, too, as men who do not love 
their country, and who are untrue to their institutions. How, then, 
are we to get this indispensable harmony — this needed unity? It is 
not to be obtained by trampling upon rights ; it is not to be obtained 
by threats ; it is not to be obtained by coercion ; it is not to be ob- 
tained by attempting to close our lips when we would utter the hon- 
est purposes of our hearts and the warm convictions of our judgment. 


But, my Republican friends, there is a mode by which it can be 
reached ; there is a mode by which the nation's life can be saved ; 
there is a mode by which, in the end, we will restore this Union of 
ours, and bring back those glorious privileges which were so wantonly 
thrown away. We come to you in no spirit of arrogance. We do 
not come to you asking you to make any concession of advantage to 
us. On the contrary, we only say to you, holding in your hands and 
in your control almost all the political power of your country, to 
exercise it according. to your chartered rights. We only ask that you 
shall give to us that which you claim for yourselves, and that which 
every freeman, and every man who respects himself, will have for him- 
self—freedom of speech, the right to exercise all the franchises con- 
ferred by the Constitution upon an American. Can you safely deny 
us these things ? Are you not trampling upon us, and upon our 
rights, if you refuse to listen to such an appeal? Is it not revolution 
which you are thus creating when you say that our persons may be 
rightfully seized, our property confiscated, our homes entered ? Are 
you not exposing yourselves, your own interests, to as great a peril 
as that with which you threaten ns? Remember this, that the 
bloody, and treasonable, and revolutionary doctrine of public neces- 
sity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government. Re- 
member all the teachings of history ; and we implore you, with regard 
to your own interests, to stop and inquire if you are not doing your- 
selves and your own families, and all that you hold dear to you, an 
infinite wrong when you sustain propositions that tear away from 
them, as well as from us, all the protections which the Constitution of 
your country has thrown around public liberty. Can you tell when 
ambition, love of plunder, or thirst for power will induce bad and 
dangerous men to proclaim this very principle of public necessity as 
a reason why they should trample beneath their feet all the laws of 
our land and the institutions of our country ? 

I ask you again to think if measures like these give power, dignity, 
or strength to our Government ? I ask you, on the other hand, if those 
governments have not lived out the longest periods, which, in times of 
public danger, instead of shrinking back from the principles of liberty 
and the barriers of order, have raised aloft these great principles, and 
battled under them, and thus given strength to the hearts of the peo- 
ple, and gained the respect of the world ? I ask you if it is not an 
evidence of weakness, defeat, and discomfiture, when, in the presence 
of armed rebellion, the Administration is compelled to assert that 
the very charter by which it holds its power has ceased to have a vir- 
tue that can protect a citizen in his rights ? Suppose we accept this 
doctrine, what will be the consequences to this Government ? 

To-day the great masses of conservatives who still battle for time- 
honored principles — for chartered principles of government, amid de- 
nunciation, and contumely, and abuse — are the only barriers that stand 
between this Government and its own destruction. If we accept to- 
morrow this teaching — if we to-morrow should acquiesce in the doc- 
trine that in times of war constitutions are suspended, and laws have 
lost their force, then we should accept a doctrine that the very right 
by which this Government administers its power has lost its virtue, 
and we would be brought down to the level of rebellion itself, having 
an existence only by virtue of material power. Would not a vital 

ACADEMY OP MUSIC, N. Y., JULY 4, 1863. Vll 

blow be struck to liberty ? If we should accept this doctrine, what 
would be the consequence ? When men accept despotism, they may 
have a choice as to who the despot will be. The struggle then will 
not be, Shall we have constitutional liberty ? But, having accepted 
the doctrine that the Constitution has lost its force, every instinct of 
personal ambition, every instinct of personal security, will lead men 
to put themselves under the protection of that power which they sup- 
posed most competent to protect their persons. And then this Ad- 
ministration would find that in putting military rulers over us, they 
had made military masters for themselves ; for this war teaches us 
that the general who will betray the liberties of the people for the 
purpose of gaining the favor of power, will, when opportunity occurs, 
seize power itself. 

I came here to-day to appeal to you who may be politically opposed 
to us. Don't do yourselves a wrong. Don't do your own Adminis- 
tration a wrong, and push us from that position which we are trying 
to hold. Do not use abuse and contumely against our persons, and 
threats against our property, because we stand up to say that you, 
and we, and all shall have our rights ; because we stand up to say, 
your houses shall be sacred ; because we stand up to say, the family 
circle shall not be entered, and, in English parlance, every man's home 
shall be his castle, within which he is safe from intrusion. 

Why,, what is the glory of a people and the glory of a nation? 
It is not the magnitude of its power ; it is not the extent of its domin- 
ions. It is the fact that the humblest home is safe under its pro- 
tection. The proudest boast ever uttered by Britain's proudest 
statesman was this — not of martial achievements — not of the triumphs 
upon the field — not of that wonderful dominion upon which the sun 
never sets — no, it was this : that the British monarch could never 
enter without permission the humblest home in the land, although its 
broken ceilings might give but scanty shelter to its humble inmates. 
For what are governments constituted but for this ? not for dominion, 
not for grandeur, but in order that these great ends might be reached ; 
that every man should enjoy the rights of person, and security of 
home, and freedom of conscience, and the enjoyment of his property, 
subject to the laws. These are the great objects of government ; and 
any government,' and any system that comes short of this, fails in its 
objects; and any declaration that assails or endangers these great 
objects is treason against human rights. But, it is said, there is a law 
of necessity that in times like these suspends our Constitution — that 
war is unfavorable to liberty. It is not true. Liberty was born in 
war ; it does not die in war. Liberty was wrought out in the battle- 
field. That wonderful people who founded this great State — the 
Hollanders, who for eighty years battled against the martial laws and 
martial powers of Spain — made it a principle which sustained them 
during that long contest, and enabled them to render their history 
glorious in the annals of mankind. 

Were personal rights and personal liberties suspended by our own 
forefathers during our Revolutionary contest ? You heard the words of 
that Declaration of Independence, which said that men had a right to 
trial by jury; that the military authority should never be exalted 
above the civil jurisdiction ; that men should not be transported 
abroad for trial ; that they should have all the rights and privileges 


known to English jurisprudence and English law ; and yet to-day we 
are told that the men who put forth that declaration of rights and 
of independence amjd the roar of battle, when our nation was strug- 
gling into existence in all its weakness, who declared — and they made 
their declaration good by their conduct through that contest — that 
these rights were to be held sacred in war — that these men who ut- 
tered this declaration in war made a Constitution that dies and 
shrinks away in war — that men learned in the perils of revolution had 
formed a government, under which we live, that was not equal to the 
very highest purposes for which goverffments are constituted. 

I tell you it is a libel upon our fathers. So far from it being true 
that those who formed this Constitution contemplated that these 
powers should be suspended, you find in all these provisions particular 
care for all the dangers and the exigencies of war ; you find numerous 
provisions that are meant to guard against the very dangers that now 
menace us. Your attention has been called to the fact by the gentle- 
man who preceded me. Why was it that they so carefully guarded 
all your rights, amid public disorder, if they meant that the mere 
existence of disorder should suspend the barriers of public order and 
private rights ? This doctrine of the suspension of the Constitution — 
this doctrine of the suspension of the laws, is unconstitutional, is 
unsound, is unjust, is treasonable ! 

I am one of those who are full of hope for the future. Not that I 
underrate the dangers which threaten us — not that I do not deplore 
as much as living man can the terrible ravages of this war. But why 
does war rage in our land ? It was because the people of this 
generation have lost the virtues, and patriotism, and wisdom of their 
fathers. It was because we had become indifferent to those great 
truths which we have now laid before us, as if they were curiosities 
in legal literature, instead of being principles that should be impressed 
upon the heart and mind of every American. 

I tell you why I am full of hope that our liberties will be maintained, 
our nation restored, and order once again prevail over this land of 
ours. It is this : Examine yourselves, I ask you, how many men there 
are within the sound of my voice who knew twelve months ago what 
the Constitution of this country was ? I do not say that you did not 
understand it intellectually. I do not mean to say that it was not 
imprinted upon your memory. I do not mean to say that it had 
not received your assent ; but it was not until we were made to feel, 
as our fathers felt, the value of this declaration that they had put 
forth, that any of us could ever see the significance of the Constitution 
of our country and the Declaration of Independence. We have 
accepted it, as I said, mentally and intellectually ; but why was it, 
when these familiar words sounded upon your ears on this occasion, 
as you have heard them often before on the anniversary of our 
country's liberty, that they stirred your very hearts within you and 
made your blood tingle in your veins ? My friends, we have not now 
a mere intellectual knowledge of the Constitution — we do not give it 
now a mere mental support — we have now, upon that subject, a vital, 
living piety that makes us better men and better patriots; and, 
wherever you go, all over this land, you find these sentiments now 
exist in the minds of more than a majority of the American people. 
They are now fervent in their faith — fixed in their purpose — fanatics, 

-aU-ajJiUM.! UK 1 MUS1U, JN. 1., JUJjX % IBB3. *■*» 

if you please, for the great principles of liberty, and fanatical in 
their determination to see that those rights and liberties are estab- 

We have seen in our land two small parties, each an inconsider- 
able minority in the section of country where they exist, but men 
of purpose — men of zeal — men of fanaticism. We have seen them 
wage a war upon the Constitution of our country, with a persistence 
and power that has at last shaken it to its very foundation, and 
brought us to-day to the very brink of national ruin. We have seen 
what zeal and purpose could do when it was opposed only by a dull 
mental acquiescence in great truths. What may we not hope that we 
may do when the great majority of the American people have a fervent 
and vital faith in these principles which you have heard and read, and 
who propose to maintain them at every cost and at every hazard ! 

Do you wish for peace ? Do you wish for victory ? Do you wish 
for the restoration of our national privileges? Here lies the path- 
way, and let the American people once learn the full value of their 
liberties, as our fathers did, and the battle is fought and won. With- 
out this, my friends, war can bring you no success — peace can give 
you no quiet until the American people are thus educated and ele- 
vated ; and I believe they are rapidly becoming educated and elevated. 
Until that takes place, war or peace are the mere incidents of the great 
underlying causes of convulsion which have affected our land, and 
shaken our institutions to the very centre. Your particular views may 
lead you to attribute it to one special cause, or another special cause, but 
there is one great underlying general cause of this war which must be 
removed before the country can be restored, and that cause is indif- 
ference to our rights, indifference to our liberties, and want of an ele- 
vated wisdom that could understand the duties of American citizenship. 
When you have gained this, peace will be restored ; when you have 
gained this, all the world can see that we have gone back to the wis- 
dom of our fathers, and that we are again sustaining institutions that 
invited the whole world to their shelter and protection — institutions 
that made us but three short years ago the most glorious nation on 
the face of the earth. When we have again restored that virtue and 
that intelligence, our country will again be restored to its former 
greatness, and to its former glory. But, my friends, anything short 
of this will disappoint your hopes. ~No victory can restore greatness, 
and glory, and power to a people who are unworthy of liberty. No 
peace will bring back prosperity to a land which cannot understand 
the great principles upon which governments should be protected, and 
the great objects for which governments are instituted. 

But, my friends, I must close. Let us now, upon this sad and 
solemn, as well as glorious occasion, rededicate ourselves to the ser- 
vice of our country in pure and fervent patriotism, putting aside pas- 
sions and prejudices as far as we may, and preparing ourselves to 
assert and maintain the great principles stated in the Declaration of 
Independence, and secured to us by the provisions of the Constitution 
of the United States. Let us resolve from this time on to do our 
duty, and to demand our rights. In all that dignifies us, and so far 
as they are acting in the sphere of their constitutional powers, let us 
be obedient to rulers ; let us submit cheerfully, patiently, and willingly 
to those commands which they have a right to issue, whether we like 


them or not. When we have done our duty, let us claim our rights 
in all their fulness, in all their completeness, and in all their perfec- 
tion. He who does not do his duty without regard to the misconduct 
of others is untrue to his country. He who does not claim his rights 
is untrue to liberty and to humanity. Our pathways are clear before 
us if we will but accept the simple and wonderful teachings of our 
fathers. From this time let us resolve that we will uphold all the 
just powers of the General Government, and the rights of the States, 
and the rights of persons, and, above all, as their best and surest 
shield, the independence and purity of the judiciary. 

We stand to-day amid new-made graves ; we stand to-day in a land 
filled with mourning, and our soil is saturated with the blood of the 
fiercest conflict of which history gives us an account. We can, if we 
will, avert all these disasters, and these calamities, and evoke a bless- 
ing. If we will do what ? Hold that Constitution, and liberties, 
and laws are suspended — be untrue to them— shrink back from the 
assertion of right ? Will that restore them ? Or shall we do as our 
fathers did under circumstances of like trial, when they battled against 
the powers of a crown ? Did they say that liberty was suspended ? 
Did they say that men might be deprived of the right of trial by 
jury? Did they say that men might be torn from their homes by 
midnight intruders ? 

If you would save your country, and your liberties, begin right. 
Begin at the hearth-stones, which are ever meant to be the foundation 
of American institutions ; begin in your family circle ; declare that 
their rights shall be held sacred; and having once proclaimed your 
own rights, take care that you do not invade your neighbor's rights. 
Claim for your own States that jurisdiction and that government 
which we, better than all others, can exercise for ourselves, for we 
best know our own interests, and that which Will do the most to ad- 
vance the happiness and prosperity of our country ; and when you 
decide that, take care that you do not invade your neighbor's rights. 

All the lessons of political wisdom are very few and very simple ; 
they are, for men to respect their own rights and to respect the rights 
of others. They are to declare that the great principles of govern- 
ment are not holiday affairs, meant merely for a period of calm ; but 
that they are great truths, that can battle a storm as well. When we 
have determined this, as I said before, we can hope that our country 
will be restored to its former greatness and former glory. Once 
more, then, you, my Republican friends — once more, this whole com- 
munity, I do invoke you to ask yourselves whether, in giving way to 
your passions and to your prejudices, you will not endanger your own 
safety and your own homes ? Once more I ask those who are politi- 
cally opposed to me, if I am honored with the attendance of one 
such, that they will inquire if, in attempting to strike down my liber- 
ties, they have not struck a blow at their own also ? I ask all such if 
they can hope to stop the mighty ball of revolution precisely at that 
point which may suit their passions, their prejudices, and their pur- 
poses ; and if they are not admonished that, if they still set such an 
evil example, and declare that laws and constitutions have lost their 
virtue to defend us, they have equally lost their virtue to defend 


The New York Riots. 

mayor 0pdyk.e to governor seymour, proposing an increase 
op the militia. 

Mayob's Office, ) 

New Yobk, June 30, 1863. f 

His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor : — Sir — The military- 
force of this city must be strengthened. Will you authorize General 
Sandford to organize from thirty to forty regiments ? If you have 
no means of arming or equipping, the City Government will, no doubt, 
make adequate provision. 

I urge this as a matter of absolute necessity. 

George Opdyke, Mayor. 

governor Seymour's reply. 

Albany, June 30. 1863. 

To Hon. George Opdyke, Mayor of New York, No. 10 Fifth 
Avenue: — I have taken steps to raise thirty regiments in New York 
and Brooklyn. The Inspector-General will see you to-morrow. 

Horatio Seymour. 


New Tobk, July 14, 1863. 

All citizens are requested to assemble immediately at the following 
places, when they will be enrolled under the direction of the persons 
hereinafter mentioned, viz : 

City Assembly Rooms. — General Ward B. Burnett. 

Seventh Regiment Armory. — General Abram Duryea, Major S. R. 
Pinckney, Colonel John W. Avery. 

Centre Market Drill Rooms. — Colonel John D. McGregor, Charles 
G. Cornell, Captain John D. Ottiwell. 

Room N. E. corner Thirty-second Street and Broadway.— Colonel 
J. Mansfield Davis, Captain R. Smedberg, Fourteenth Regiment 
U. S. A. 

City Hall. — Colonel Robert H. Shannon, Captain I. Rynders, Cap- 
tain T. S. Murphy. 

No. 220 Third Street. — Captain H. Sower. 

By order of Horatio Seymour, Governor. 

* Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General. 



To the People of the City of New York: — A riotous demon- 
stration in your city, originating in opposition to the conscription of sol- 
diers for the military service of the United States, has swelled into vast 
proportions, directing its fury against the property and lives of peace- 
ful citizens. I know that many of those who have participated in 
these proceedings would not have allowed themselves to be carried to 
such extremes of violence and of wrong, except under an apprehension 
of injustice ; but such persons are reminded that the only opposition to 
the conscription which can be allowed is an appeal to the courts. 

The right of every citizen to make such an appeal will be main- 
tained, and the decision of the courts must be respected and obeyed 
by rulers and people alike. No other course is consistent with the 
maintenance of the laws, the peace and order of the city, and the 
safety of its inhabitants. 

Riotous proceedings must and shall be put down. The laws of 
the State must be enforced, its peace and order maintained, and the 
lives and property of all citizens protected at any and every hazard. 
The rights of every citizen will be properly guarded and defended by 
the Chief Magistrate of the State. 

I do therefore call upon all persons engaged in these riotous 
proceedings to retire to their homes and employments, declaring to 
them that unless they do so at once I shall use all the power necessary 
to restore the peace and order of the city. I also call upon all well- 
disposed persons, not enrolled for the preservation of order, to pursue 
their ordinary avocations. 

Let all citizens stand firmly by the constitutional authorities, 
sustaining law and order in the city, and ready to answer any such 
demand as circumstances may render necessary for me to make upon 
their services ; and they may rely upon a rigid enforcement of the 
laws of this State against all who violate them. 

Horatio Seymour, Governor. 
New York, July 14, 1863. 


Whereas, it is manifest that combinations for forcible resistance 
to the laws of the State of New York, and the execution of civil and 
criminal process, exist in the city and county of New York, whereby 
the peace and safety of the city, and the lives and property of its 
inhabitants are endangered ; and 

Whereas, the power of the said city and county has been exerted, 
and is not sufficient to enable the officers of the said city and county 
to maintain the laws of the State and execute the legal process of its 
officers; and 

Whereas, application has been made to me by the Sheriff of the 
city and county of New York to declare Jhe said city and county to 
be in a state of insurrection : now, therefore, 

I, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New York, and 


Commander-in-chief of the forces of the same, do in its name and by 
its authority, issue this proclamation in accordance with the statute 
in such cases made and provided, and do hereby declare the city and 
county of New York to be in a state of insurrection, and give notice to 
all persons that the means provided by the laws of this State for the 
maintenance of law and order will be employed to whatever degree 
may be necessary, and that all persons who shall, after the publication 
of this proclamation, resist, or aid or assist in resisting, any force 
ordered out by the Governor to quell or suppress such insurrection, 
will render themselves liable to the penalties prescribed by law. 

Horatio Seymour, Governor. 
New York, July 14, 1863. 

governor Seymour's speech to the rioters, jdxy 14, 1863. 

[Note. — This was an impromptu speech, delivered amid great excitement and 
tumult. No two reports of it agree. "We append the several versions of it as printed 
in the journals of the day. — Ed.] 

(N. Y. Tribune Report, JvM) 15, 1863.) 

My Friends : — I have come down from the quiet of the country to 
see what was the difficulty, to learn what all this, trouble was concern- 
ng the draft. Let me assure you that I am your friend. (Uproarious 
cheering.) You have been my friends. (Cries of " yes," " yes " — " that's 
so" — " we are, and will be again.") And now I assure you, my fellow- 
citizens, that I am here to show you a test of my friendship. 
(Cheers.) I wish to inform you that I have sent my Adjutant-Gen- 
eral to Washington to confer with the authorities there, and to have 
this draft suspended and stopped. (Vociferous cheers.) I. now ask 
you as good citizens to wait for his return, and I assure you that I 
will do all that I can to see that there is no inequality, and no 
wrong done any one. I wish you to take good care of all property 
as good citizens, and see that every persqn is safe. The safe-keeping 
of property and persons rests with you, and I charge you to disturb 
neither. It is your duty to maintain the good order of the city, 
and I know you will do it. I wish you now to separate as good citi- 
zens, and you can assemble again whenever you wish to do so. I ask 
you to leave all to me, now, and I will see to yonr rights. "Wait 
until my Adjutant returns from Washington, and you shall be sat- 
isfied. Listen to me, and see that no harm is done to either persons 
or property, but retire peaceably. (Cheers.) Some of the crowd 
shouted : " Send away those bayonets," referring to a company of 
soldiers who were drawn up in front of the City Hall, but the Gov- 
ernor declined to interfere with the military, and bowing to the 
crowd, retired. 

(JV. Y. World, Report, July 15, 1863.) 

I left the country, on hearing of these disturbances in New York, 
for the purpose of sustaining the laws and upholding the authorities, 
and of inquiring personally into the difficulties. I come before you 
with confidence as my immediate constituents, and as one whose 
sentiments and principles have been tried and approved. (Cheers.) I 


call on the people to maintain law and order, to protect life, person, 
and property, for your salvation depends upon this. Anarchy will 
be ruin. On Saturday last I sent the Adjutant-General of the State 
to Washington for the purpose of requesting that the draft might be 
postponed, and I had every reason to believe that the request would 
be complied with. If the conscription law will not bear the test of 
the courts and the Constitution, it will not be enforced ; but if up- 
held by the courts, then the State and City authorities will combine 
for the purpose of equalizing the tax and making it bear proportion- 
ately upon the rich and the poor. (Great cheering.) 

(JV. Y. Herald Beport, July 15, 1863.) 

Fellow-Citizens : — Hearing that there was difficulty in the city, I 
came down here, leaving the quiet of the country, to do what I canto 
preserve the public peace. [A voice. — " We want you to stay here."] 
Governor Seymour continued : I come not only for the purpose of 
maintaining the laws, but also from a kind regard for the interest 
and the welfare of those who, under the influence of excitement and 
a feeling of supposed wrong, were in danger not only of inflicting 
serious blows to the good order of society, but to ttieir own best 
interests. I beg you to listen to me as a friend, for I am your friend, 
and the friend of your families. I implore you to take care that no 
man's property or person is injured ; for you owe it to yourselves and 
to the Government under which you live to assist with your strong 
arms in preserving peace and order. (Cheers.) I rely on you to de- 
fend the peace and good order of the city ; and if you do this, and 
refrain from further riotous acts, I will see to it that all your rights 
shall be protected. (Renewed applause.) I will say a word about the 
draft : On Saturday last (before the outbreak occurred) I sent the 
Adjutant-General of the State to Washington, urging its postpone- 
ment. The question of the legality of the conscription act will go to 
the courts, and the decision of those courts, whatever it may be, 
must be obeyed by rulers and people alike. If the conscription sljall 
be declared to be legal, then I pledge myself to use every influence 
with the State and City authorities to see that there shall be no ine- 
quality between the rich and the poor. I pledge myself that money 
shall be raised for the purpose of relieving those who are unable to 
protect their own interests. There is no occasion for resisting the 
draft, for it has not yet been enforced. And now, in conclusion, I 
beg you to disperse ; leave your interests in my hands, and I -v\yll take 
care that justice is done you, and that your families shall be fully pro- 

(N. T. Times Report, July 15, 1863.) 

On taking the stand he was greeted with vehement and prolonged 
cheers. He said he had come from his quiet home to this scene of 
excitement, to do what he could to preserve the public peace. 

A voice — " We want you to stay here." 

I am going to stay here, my friends. 

He implored the men whom he saw before him to refrain from all 
actsjof violence, and from all destruction of property. They owed it to 
themselves and to the Government under which they lived, to assist 
with their strong arms in preserving peace and order. If they would 


only do this, and refrain from further riotous acts, he -would see to it 
that all their rights were protected. (Cheers.) He was their friend and 
the friend of their families. He would say a word about the draft. 
And first he would state that on Saturday last he sent his Adjutant- 
General (Sprague) to "Washington, to ask the Government to stop 
the draft in this city for the present. (Prolonged cheers.) There was 
no occasion for resistance, for the draft had not yet been enforced. 
If they would now quietly disperse to their homes and abstain from 
further acts of violence, he would promise them that no injustice should 
be done in the matter of the conscription, and that the rights of them- 
selves and families should be fully protected. (Great applause, during 
which the Governor retired within the City Hall.) 


Headquarters, New York, July 14 ,1863. 
His Excellency, Hoeatio Seymour, Governor, &c. : — Sir — The 
Government of the United States, has authorized me to call on you 
for as many men as I require. Please to send me one, two, three, or 
four regiments, to report to me at my headquarters at the St. Nicho- 
las Hotel, the object being to suppress the riot now existing in this city. 
Very respectfully yours, etc., 

John E. Wool, Major-General. 
P. S. Please send two regiments if no more. 
Approved. John E. Wool, Major-General. 

George Opdyke, Mayor. 


Metropolitan Hotel, New York, July 14, 1863. 
Major-Gen. John E. Wool, Commanding Department of the East, 
New- York : — 

General : — I have the honor to acknowledge your favor o'f this 
date, addressed to His Excellency, Governor Seymour, stating that 
the Government of the United States had authorized you to call on 
him for as many men as you required, and asking the Governor to 
send " one, two, three, or four regiments," to report to you at your 
headquarters at the St. Nicholas Hotel, the object being to suppress 
the riot now existing in this city. 

In reply I have to state that, before receiving your communication, 
orders had been given, by authority of the Executive, to the 70th 
Regiment (Brooklyn), and the 25th (Albany); to report immediately 
for duty in this city. Their arrival, of which you will be duly 
informed, is momentarily expected. 

Orders have also been given to Brigadier-Generals Green, Dering, 
and Williams, to order all the available force of their respective bri- 
gades iu readiness to march to this city at a moment's notice. Please 
communicate if an additional force is required. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General S. N. Y. 





Headquarters, New Tore, July 14, 1863. 
General : I would be glad of four regiments. This may answer 
with what we expect. If you can send six regiments I would be 
glad. We cannot have too many men at tbis moment. More you 
send me the better it will be. 

Very respectfully yours, 

John E. Wool, Major-General. 
To Brig. -Gen. Miller, Inspector-General. 


New York, July 15, 1863. 

My dear Sir — I have received your note about the draft. On 
Saturday last I sent my Adjutant-General to Washington for the pur- 
pose of urging a suspension of the draft, for I know that the City of 
New York can furnish its full quota by volunteering. 

I have received a despatch from General Sprague that the draft is 
suspended. He will be in the city to-morrow. There is no doubt 
that the conscription is postponed. I learn this from a number of 
sources. If I get any information of a change of policy at Washing- 
ton I will let you know. 

Truly yours, Horatio Seymour. 

Hon. Samuel Sloan. 

(From the N. Y. Tribune, July 11, 1863.) 
The most earnest efforts have been made to effect a withdrawal of 
the troops from the Eighteenth Ward. Senators Bradley and Con- 
nolly, being able to effect nothing personally, went to Governor Sey- 
mour and begged him to use his efforts to have the troops withdrawn. 
Mr. Seymour, satisfied that it would be a measure of good policy, 
immediately addressed the following note to headquarters : 

St. Nicholas Hotel, July IV, 1863. 

To the Police Commissioners : — I hope you will comply with the 
suggestions of Senator Bradley with regard to the Eighteenth Ward. 
Horatio Seymour, Commander-in-chief. 

order disbanding citizen volunteers. 

Temporary Headquarters, St. Nicholas Hotel. ) 
New York City, July 20, 1863. y 

Special Order No. 17. 

A sufficient force of the National Guard of the State having arrived 
in this city to enable the civil authorities to maintain the public 
peace and enforce order, the Commander-in-chief directs that the 
several citizen volunteer organizations formed under his authority for 
the emergency, be relieved from further duty. 


The persons in command of the reserve detachments of citizen 
volunteers, to whom arms have been furnished upon the order of the 
Governor, are directed to return such arms to Brig.-Gen. James A. 
Parrel, Commissary-General of Ordnance, at the State arsenal, cor- 
ner of Seventh avenue and Thirty-fifth street. The Commissary-General 
will receive and give receipt for the same. He will also report to these 
headquarters all persons to whom arms were delivered and who neg- 
lect to return the same pursuant to this order. The Commander-in-chief 
takes this opportunity of thanking those citizens who so promptly re- 
sponded to his call by volunteering to assist in restoring tranquillity. 
Many gentlemen deserved to be especially named, but the Command- 
er-in-chief can only on this occasion acknowledge his obligations, and 
those of the city and State, to all who rendered assistance in maintain - 
ing the peace and good order of the city. 

Horatio Seymour, 
Governor, and Commander-in-Chief. 

Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General S. N. Y. 

report ot general wool to governor seymour. 

New York City, ) 
July 20, 1863. J 

To His Excellency, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of 
New York : — Sir — Agreeably to a conversation with you on Saturday 
last, and in order that you, as well as the citizens of New York, may 
correctly understand the course I pursued to check the riotors who 
commenced their depredations in this city on the 13th instant, and 
for some time by their lawless acts, in killing persons, pulling down 
and burning buildings, to such an extent as to cause many to ap- 
prehend a general conflagration, I present you with the following 
statement : 

The cause ascribed for this riot has been the attempt on the part 
of the Assistant Provost-Marshals, to make the draft on that day at 
the various offices in the city. The operations of enrolling and draft- 
ing, under the conscript act, have been independent of the military 
commander of the department, and almost entirely under the control 
of the Provost-Marshal-General. 

On Monday morning, 13th instant, hearing of some disturbance in 
the upper part of the city, I saw Colonel Nugent, Provost-Marshal 
of this city, and called his attention to the subject, when he informed 
me that the police of the city had already attended to it, and he re- 
quired no othei- assistance ; that the trouble had already subsided, 
and that I need give myself no further uneasiness upon the subject. I 
then proceeded to transact important business in the lower part of the 
city, after completing which, on returning to my headquarters, I was 
informed that the Mayor wished to see me on business of moment. 
I called upon him, when he informed me that a serious riot existed in 
some of the upper wards of the city, and asked me for assistance to 
quell it, saying that nearly all the militia force of the city had been 
sent to Harrisburg to defend Pennsylvania from the rebel invasion. 

From his representations of the imminent danger, not only in re- 


gard to the threatened destruction of property and lives of citizens, 
but also of property of the United States, which was very large, and 
required immediate protection, and believing that to protect the public 
property from destruction it was necessary to put down the rioters, 
I immediately complied with the request of the Mayor, and issued 
orders for the troops under my command in the forts of the harbor 
— having none in the city — to assemble at my headquarters with the 
least possible delay, leaving only small guards to take care of the 
forts. The most of the United States troops thus ordered arrived in 
the course of the evening of the same day, and were immediately, as 
they came, disposed in the best manner for the emergency. 

The Mayor and myself being deficient in force, united in an ap- 
plication to Rear- Admiral Paulding, commanding the navy yard ; to 
Colonel Bowman, superintendent of the West Point United States 
Military Academy ; to the authorities of Newark ; also to the Gov- 
ernors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island for troops. Those furnished by Admiral Paulding, a 
company from West Point, and one from Newark, were on the spot 
promptly, as well as those furnished by the Governor of New York. 

The militia that could be assembled by Major-General Sandford 
were posted by him in the upper part of the city, at the State arsenal 
and its vicinity, ready to act there or at any other point of danger. 
Upon the call of the Governor, the Mayor and myself, the veteran 
volunteers in the city (officers and privates) who had been mustered 
out of service, as well as many citizens,' volunteered their services 
promptly, and, organizing themselves, needed only to be furnished 
with arms and ammunition; and as soon as furnished they were put 
in positions to act efficiently not only in defending property, but like- 
wise in putting down the rioters. 

The city police force from the beginning, under the able chief 
commissioner, superintendent, and other officers of its organization, 
displayed throughout the whole riot, not only a willingness, but very 
great efficiency in their noble exertions to quell the riot. For this 
and their harmonious co-operatiou with the troops engaged in the 
same cause, they deserve the warmest thanks of every lover of law 
and order, and my high commendation for their whole conduct on this 
trying occasion. 

In the afternoon of the 13th, Brevet Brigadier-General Harvey 
Brown, in the immediate command of the United States troops in 
the forts (except Fort Columbus), presented himself, and volunteered 
his services, expressing a willingness to serve in any capacity in the 
emergency then pressing upon us. I accepted his offer, and directed 
him to report to Major-General Sandford, who was then in the im- 
mediate command of the troops, with Colonel Nugent, however, under 

him in command of the United States portion of the troops all the 

troops then out being mixed of militia and regulars. Immediately 
after receiving my instructions, General Brown took his position at 
the Police Headquarters, No. 300 Mulberry street, so as to be in im- 
mediate communication with the police authorities, and I appointed 
two of my aids to assist him. 

I soon after learned, however, that in the disposition and manage- 
ment of the troops there existed a want of harmony between Generals 
Sandford and Brown, in consequence of which I issued the following 
order, sending a copy to each : — 


Headquarters Department op the East, ) 
New York, July 13, 1863. J 

Major-General Sandford, Brevet Brigadier-General Brown: — Gentlemen — It is in- 
dispensable to collect your troops not stationed, and have them divided into suitable par- 
ties, with a due proportion of the police to each, and to patrol in such parts of the city 
as may be in the greatest danger from the rioters. This ought to be done as soon as 
practicable. • 

John E. Wool, Major-General. 

After this had been issued, General Sandford reported to me that 
his orders were not obeyed by General Brown ; consequently I issued 
the following : — ■ 

Headquarters Department op the East, ) 
New York, July 13, 1863. ) 

All the troops called out for the protection of the city are placed under the com- 
mand of Major-General Sandford, whose orders they will implicitly obey. 
By command of Major-General Wool. 

0. T. Christensen, Assistant Adjutant-General. 

About nine o'clock of the evening of the same day (13th), after this 
order had been issued, General Brown presented himself to me com- 
plaining of General Sandford, and strongly objecting to serve under 
him, asking to be excused from the operation of the order. 

My reply was to the effect that as Gen. Sandford ranked him, and 
the troops were mixed of militia, regulars, &c, I could not place him 
(Gen. Brown) in command of all, and that for efficient operations a 
hearty co-operation of the State and United States troops, and the 
police, must be had for putting down the mob, protecting public and 
private property, and the lives of the citizens threatened. Gen. Brown, 
notwithstanding, however, persisted in urging his objections, and ask- 
ing to be excused. I excused him, and immediately issued the fol- 
lowing order : — 

Headquarters Department op the East, ) 
New York, July 13, 1863. J 

Col. R. Nugent will take charge of all the regular troops, subject to the orders of 
Major-General Sandford. 

John E. Wool, Major-General. 

The following morning (July 14), about eight o'clock, after myself 
and staff had been up all night receiving and posting the troops, 
General Brown presented himself again, and asked to be restored to 
the position he had relinquished the evening before, saying, in sub- 
stance, that he considered himself in the wrong in having refused to 
serve under General Sandford, and that if he could be restored he 
would be willing to serve as ordered. I immediately granted the 
request, and General Brown soon after resumed his place at the Police 
Headquarters, Col. Nugent being directed to serve under the orders 
of General Brown, but not to be relieved from duty, and I issued the 
following order : — 

Headquarters Department op the East, ) 
New York, July 14, 1863. j 

Brevet Brigadier-General Brown, United States Army :— Sir— It is reported thatthe 
rioters have already recommenced their work of destruction. To-day there must be 


no child's play. Spme of the troops under your command should be sent imme- 
diately to attack and stop those who have commenced their infernal rascality in York 
ville and Harlem. 

John B. Wool, Major-General. 

Notwithstanding General Brown expressed willingness in case of 
being restored to serve in accordance with my orders, I regret be- 
ing obliged to state that he afterward evinced no disposition to serve 
under General Sandford, but actually issued orders to troops stationed 
at the latter's headquarters, without any reference whatever to General 
Sandford, which, however, were countermanded by the latter. 

After this Brevet Brigadier-General Brown continued to act under 
the foregoing and other written and verbal orders, which were com- 
municated from me to him, until Friday morning, 17th inst., when, 
by virtue of an order from the War Department, he was relieved by 
Brig.-General Canby, United States Volunteers, of all the command 
he had previously exercised under my orders. 

Many other orders than those quoted were issued during the ope- 
rations, which, as they refer to details in reference to posting troops 
for the protection of property — public and private — need not be sub- 
mitted ; and I have ample reason to believe that the duties enjoined 
by these orders were generally discharged with efficiency by the 
regulars, volunteers, marines and sailors, and several gunboats, under 
their respective officers, furnished at my request by Rear-Admiral 
Paulding, as also by citizens who enrolled themselves for the occasion. 

I would also mention in terms of commendation the services of the 
cavalry under Colonel Mott, and of other cavalry of impromptu or- 
ganization ; of Brigadier-General Podge, who volunteered — all of 
whom finally, after the dispersion of the rioters, were placed under 
the command of Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, he also having volun- 
teered. All the cavalry, however, was reserved to act under my own 
immediate instructions. 

On Wednesday evening, 16th inst., this cavalry was directed by me 
to patrol the disaffected districts, and by nine o'clock that night they 
found, from the severe lessons the rioters had received at the hands 
of the police and troops, in killing and wounding many who were 
combined in arms and firing from buildings and corners upon the 
troops, and by the capture of many of their ringleaders, that the riot 
had been effectually subdued. • 

The last act of the tragedy was that the cavalry, early in the morn- 
ing of the 17th, found and took possession of seventy stand of 
revolvers and carbines, which had been secreted by the rioters in a 
manure heap, and several casks of paving-stones, and took several 
more prisoners. 

It will be seen that, from Monday afternoon till Thursday evening, 
the riot existed. During this period much private property was de- 
stroyed, and some public property, it is understood, was destroyed in 
Jamaica; also some public arms in one or two shops of individuals. 
The amount of private property destroyed is estimated at no less 
than $400,000. 

I here take occasion to express my thanks to the officers and pri- 
vates of the volunteers, militia, and regulars ; also to the marines 
and sailors, and to the officers of the navy, for their services on this 
occasion ; likewise to officers of all grades, from brigadier-generals 


down, who happened to be in the eity and volunteered their services ; 
to the police and its officers, and to many private citizens, for their aid 
on this occasion. 

To the Governor of New York, Major-General Sandford, and his 
officers ; to the Mayor of New York, and to Rear-Admiral Paulding, 
I am indebted for prompt and efficient action and assistance in the 
emergency ; also to my former aids, Colonel Alexander Hamilton, Jr., 
and Colonel George L. Schuyler, who volunteered especially for this 
occasion, and were constantly in attendance day and night. 

I also take occasion to express my thanks to the officers composing 
my staff, whose duties during the existence of the riot were not only 
constant and arduous, night and day, but most effectually exerted in 
aiding me throughout the performance of the several parts assigned 
to them. 

In conclusion, I have only to add that, the riot having been effec- 
tually put down on the evening of the 16th instant, on the afternoon 
of Saturday, the 18th instant, I was relieved of the command of the 
Department of the East by Major-General Dix, United States Vol- 
unteers, in virtue of the orders of the President, dated the 15th 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John E. Wool, Major-General. 


State of New York, Temporary Headquarters Commander-in-chief, ) 

New York City, July 24, 1863. ) 

General Orders No. — 

The Governor and Commander-in-chief of the military forces of the 
State of New York, upon the return of those regiments of the Nation- 
al Guard, who, upon his order, with a promptness and alacrity which 
excited the admiration of the whole country, went forth on a sudden 
call of danger to other States, expresses to them his thanks for their 
gallant and successful service, which has been alike honorable to them 
and to the State whose name and arms they are proud to bear. 

By the ready and vigorous assistance thus rendered, the soil of 
Pennsylvania was relieved from the presence of the invader, and aid 
was given to the National armies which helped to win the victory at 

The people of the State of New York will remember with pride, and 
honor with praise, their fellow-citizens who have prepared themselves 
for this great work by a long period of drill and discipline, at a time 
when general encouragement was withheld. It required no little moral 
courage to uphold our militia system when it hadfallen into disrepute; 
but this has been done by the citizen soldiery of New York, who 
have nobly maintained their organization, and by their example and 


zeal revived a martial spirit throughout the State, which we must re- 
gard as our surest protection in the hour of danger. It has shown 
the utility of that section of our National Constitution w,hich declares 
that a " well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a 
free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be 
infringed." So careful were our fathers upon this point that they ex- 
empted the musket from seizure and sale, before they placed the tools 
of the mechanic, and the implements of husbandry beyond the credit- 
or's grasp. They confided the safety of the Republic in the hands of 
its citizens, and secured to them the musket, as they did the ballot, 
for the defence of their right, and the protection of their interests. 
Time has demonstrated their wisdom. 

If our militia system is allowed to decay, all our institutions are 
weakened. The militia is the main strength of the Executive to main- 
tain the laws, put down insurrection, and to repel invasion. 

Within thirty days the uniformed militia of this State have gone 
forth to assist their brethren beyond our limits, and have returned to 
put down riot, arson, and robbery at home; they have aided in de- 
fending the National flag and honor upon the battle-fields of other 
States, and their tread upon the pavements of this great city brought 
back a sense of security to its disturbed and endangered inhabitants, 

It would neither be just to these gallant soldiers nor true to the 
occasion, in commending their prompt obedience and honorable ser- 
vice, not to add an expression of the gratitude due to them for their 
just appreciation of their constitutional duties, and the labor and 
time they have given to preparation for their work of usefulness and 
honor which they have now accomplished. 

The State of New York has already furnished two hundred and 
twenty-six thousand volunteers to the National service. It now con- 
tains within its limits three hundred thousand persons liable to ser- 
vice in its militia. 

The proper organization of this great force will not only preserve 
the power and safety of the State, but enable it to be even more 
beneficial in its aid to the nation and to other States, than it has been 

The several regiments, as they return, will report to the command- 
ers of their respective divisions, who will cause this order to be duly 
published, and to whom such further orders will be issued as may 
hereafter be deemed necessary. 

Hoeatio Seymour, 
Governor and Commander-in-chief. 

Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General. 


Headquarters First Division N. T S. N. &., ) 
New York, December 30, 1863. J 

Brig.-Gex. John T. Sprague, Adj't-Gen. of the State of New 
York ^General — During the present year, 1863, the First Division 
has performed a large amount of duty. In addition to the usual 
parades and drills, the reception of regiments returned from the 


war, and funeral honors to our noble sons who have fallen upon the 
battle-fields of our country, in defence of the Union, the Division 
has been again called to the field, and upon its return has been en- 
gaged in the suppression of riots at home. 

On the 16th of June last, I received orders of that date, from the 
Commander-in-chief (a copy whereof is annexed), directing me to 
send as many regiments as possible to Harrisburg, to assist in repel- 
ling the invasion of Pennsylvania by the rebels. 

The destination of some of these regiments was changed by request 
of the War Department to Baltimore. 

The following regiments of this Division were sent forward by me, 
pursuant to these orders, viz. : — 

7th regiment, 800 men, for Baltimore, June 17th. 

8 th 
















































for Harrisb'g, 
























for Baltimore, 












These regiments were divided into three brigades, and were placed 
under the command of Brigadier-Generals Hall, Ewen, and Yates, 
whose reports of their operations during their absence I have the 
honor to inclose, and to which I respectfully refer. 

I also have the honor to' inclose reports from the commandants of 
several of these regiments, which exhibit the details of their em- 
ployment and services during their absence. 

The readiness and alacrity with which these regiments departed to 
assist our sister State in the hour of danger, is evidenced by the fact 
that .most of our New York regiments arrived at Harrisburg before 
a single regiment reached there from Philadelphia, and were immedi- 
ately sent forward to cover all the approaches to that city, and they 
effectually prevented the further advance of the rebel army. 

During the absence of all these regiments of my Division, on the 
13th of July last, a riot of the most Serious character occurred (in 
consequence of the commencement of the United States draft), which 
for three or four days was more disgraceful in its character, and more 
serious in its consequences, than any before known in our city, and 
which could not have lasted twelve hours if one-third of our regi- 
ments had been at home at its commencement. 

Upon the first alarm, upon requisition of his Honor the Mayor, 

' the whole of the Division remaining in the city was ordered on duty ; 

but the absence of over 8,000 men at the seat of war, had left me 

with so small a force that my means were entirely inadequate to the 

magnitude of the occasion. 

In this emergency, Major-General Wool, commanding the United 
States Department of the East, in the most liberal spirit, immediately 


proffered the aid of the United States detachments in the harbor, and 
directed them to report to me for duty. The following is a copy of 

his order : — 

Headquarters Department op the Bast, ) 
New York, Jnly 13, 1863. J 
Special Orders. 

AH the troops called out for the protection of the city are placed under the com- 
mand of Major-General Sandford, whose orders they will implicity ohey. 
By command of Major-Gen. "Wool. 

C. T. Christbnsen, Ass't Adj't-General. 

With the remnant of the Division, and the first of these reinforce- 
ments from Gen. Wool, detachments were sent to all parts of the city, 
and the rioters were everywhere beaten and dispersed on Monday 
afternoon, Monday night, and Tuesday morning, and the peace of the 
city would have been entirely restored in a few hours, but for the in- 
terference of Brevet Brigadier-General Brown, who, in direct dis- 
obedience of General Wool, withdrew the detachments belonging to 
the United States, and thereby so materially diminished this force 
under my orders as to limit most seriously the operations against the 
rioters. General Wool's report to the Secretary of War, on the sub- 
ject, will show his efforts to rectify the .mischief, and the manner in 
which his orders were evaded and disobeyed. 

Notwithstanding these difficulties, the north and west side of the 
city was effectually cleared of rioters by detachments sent by me 
from the arsenal. In Broadway, Forty-second street, Twenty-seventh, 
Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, and Thirty- 
second streets, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth avenues, mobs 
were attacked, and in every instance defeated and dispersed. No 
blank cartridges were issued to or used by any of the troops under my 
orders. The gas-works in Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets, and also 
upon the East Biver, Webb's ship-yards, and the various manufac- 
tories threatened by the rioters, were fully protected, and numerous 
fires in buildings occupied by colored people, and others obnoxious 
to the mob, were extinguished by the firemen, after the rioters were 

In these encounters I regret to report that Major Fearing, of my 
staff, was very seriously wounded whilst gallantly leading a charge' upon 
the mob in Forty-second street, and one private soldier was killed, and 
twenty-two ofilcers and men dangerously, and fifty-three slightly 
wounded, at the storming of the barricades erected by the rioters in 
Twenty-ninth street, and in other conflicts which followed. 

The whole of the force remaining with me at the arsenal was kept 
on duty day and night during the whole period, and twenty-six detach- 
ments at different times were sent out to disperse the rioters and pro- 
tect private and public property. 

This division has always been so organized as to be ready upon any 
emergency to effectually suppress all riots or insurrections, and the 
citizens of New York know that they can safely repose under its pro- 
tection. The absence of the thirteen regiments above mentioned, and 
of six regiments of the Division which volunteered for the war, alone 
gave temporary success to the rioters. 

As soon as our regiments could be recalled they returned to the 
city, and the rioters were then entirely dispersed ; but most of the 


regiments were kept on duty during the residue of the month of July, 
and some of them until the middle of August. 

On the 17th of August last I received requisitions from the Mayor 
of the city, and from the Police Commissioners, in apprehension of a 
riot on the renewal of the draft, which was appointed to take place in 
this city on the 19th of August last, requesting me to call out the First 
Division to aid the civil authorities in preserving the peace, and sup- 
pressing any tumult, riot, or insurrection during the draft. 

In pursuance of these requisitions the whole Division was called 
out, and stationed, by regiments and detachments, in various parts of 
the city, from the High Bridge to the Battery, and was kept on duty 
until the 5th of September, and a small detachment from each regi- 
ment until the 15th of September. 

In consequence of this precaution the draft proceeded without any 
interruption or breach of the peace. 


I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Chas. W. Sandfoed, Major-General. 

Correspondence between Gen. Dix and Gov. Seymour 
on the removal of Troops from New York City. 

gen. dix to the. editors of the n. t. expeess. 

Headquarters Department op the East, ) 
New York City, Aug. 27, 1863. ) 

To the Editoes of the New York Express : — 

Gentlemen : — I find in your paper of yesterday the following 
paragraph : — 

" The Administration seems to have made up its mind not to take Bichmond or to 
occupy Virginia ; and our own impression is, that it does not mean to conquer 
Virginia until after the presidential election, so as not to have the Virginia vote in 
the next presidential ballot-box. Hence Gen. Meade is despoiled of his forces, and 
some 30,000, some say 40,000, soldiers are encamped here in our beautiful parks, 
parading before our great hotels in some places, thereby robbing the laboring classes 
of their places of airing or enjoyment, as in Tompkins square, while all the forts 
around swarm with soldiers. The conquest of New York seems of much more im- 
portance to the Administration, just now, than the conquest of Virginia." 

As the troops on service in this city were sent here at my request, 
I forward to you, for publication, a correspondence between the 
Governor of this State and myself, which will explain my reasons for 


asking a military force to be placed at my disposal while the draft of 
men for the army was in progress. It was my wish that the law pro- 
viding for the draft should have been executed under the protection 
of the military power of the State, in case of armed resistance to it, not 
only because such an arrangement would have given evidence of the 
cordial co operation of the State authorities with the Federal Govern- 
ment in carrying out an important war measure, but because it would 
have rendered unnecessary the withdrawal of troops from the field at 
a time when they were actually employed in bringing the rebellion to 
a close. 

Had my application to the Governor been successful, I should not 
have asked the General Government to send into this State a single 
soldier to aid them in asserting its authority, and in protecting its 
officers from violence in the discharge of their duties. 

I am, very respectfully, 

John A. Dix, Major-General. 

gen. dix to governor seymour. 

Headquarters Department of the East, ) 
New York Out, July 30, 1863. j 

His Excellency, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New 
York : — Sir — As the draft under the act of Congress of March 3, 
1863, for enrolling and calling out the National forces will possibly be 
resumed in this city at an early day, I am desirous of knowing 
whether the military power of the State may be relied on to enforce 
the execution of the law, in case of a forcible resistance to it. I am 
very anxious that there should be perfect harmony of action between 
the Federal Government and that of the State of New York, and if 
under your authority to see the law faithfully executed, I can feel 
assured that the act referred to will be enforced, I need not ask the 
War Department to put at my disposal for the purpose troops in ser- 
vice of the United States. I am the more unwilling to make such 
request, as they could not be withdrawn from the field without pro- 
longing the war, and giving aid and encouragement to the enemies of 
the Union at the very moment when our success promises, with a 
vigorous effort, the speedy suppression of the rebellion. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John A. Dix, Major-General. 


Albany, Monday, Aug. 3, 1863. 
To Major-Gen. John A. Dix, Commanding Eastern Department, 
&c: — Sir — I received your letter on Sunday. I have this day sent 
to the President of the United States a communication in relation to 
the draft in this State. I believe his answer will relieve you and me 
from the painful questions growing out of an armed enforcement of 
the conscription law in this patriotic State, which has contributed so 
largely and freely to the support of the National cause during the 


existing war. When I receive the President's answer I will write to 
you again upon the subject of your letter. 
Truly yours, &c, 

Hobatio Seyhoue. 

gen. dix to goveenoe setmoue. 

Headquarters Department op the East, | 
New York City, Aug. 8, 1863. f 

His Excellency, Hoeatio Setmoue, Governor of the State of New 
York: — Sir — I had the honor to receive, on the evening of the 5th 
instant, your letter of the 3d, in reply to mine of the 30th ult., in- 
forming me that you had made a communication to the President of 
the United States in relation to the draft in this State, and expressing 
your belief that his answer would relieve you and me from the pain- 
ful questions growing out of an armed enforcement of the conscription 
act, &c. 

Your Excellency promises to write me again on the subject when 
you shall have received the President's answer. It will afford me 
much pleasure to hear from you, and to receive an affirmative answer 
to the inquiry contained in my letter. But I owe it to my position 
as commander of this military department to anticipate his reply by 
some suggestions arising out of your answer to me. You are, no 
doubt, aware that the draft has been nearly completed in the nine 
western districts, and that it has also been completed in several dis- 
tricts, and is in successful progress in others in the central part of the 
State, under the orders of the Provost-Marshal-General. It is my 
duty now, as commanding officer of the troops in the service of the 
United States in the department, if called upon by the enrolling offi- 
cers, to aid them in resisting forcible opposition to the execution of 
the iaw ; and it was from an earnest desire to avoid the necessity of 
employing for the purpose any of my forces which have been placed 
here to garrison the forts and protect the public property, that 
I wished to see the draft enforced by the military power of the State 
in case of armed and organized resistance to it. But, holding such 
resistance to the paramount law of Congress to be disorganizing and 
revolutionary, leading, unless effectually suppressed, to the overthrow 
of the Government itself, to the success of the insurgents in the seceded 
States, and to universal anarchy, I designed, if your co-operation could 
be relied on, to ask the General Government for a force which should 
be adequate to insure the execution of the law, and to meet any 
emergency growing out of it. The act under which the draft is in 
progress was, your Excellency is aware, passed to meet the difficulty 
of keeping up the army through the system of volunteering, to the 
standard of force deemed necessary to suppress the insurrection. The 
service of every man capable of bearing arms is, in all countries — 
those especially in which power is responsible to the people — due to 
the Government when its existence is in peril. This service is the price 
of the protection which he receives, and of the safeguards with which 
the law surrounds him in the enjoyment of property and life. This 
act authorizing the draft is entitled, " An Act for enrolling and calling 
out the National forces." 


I regret that your Excellency should have characterized it as the 
conscription act — a phrase borrowed from a foreign system of enroll- 
ment, with odious features, from which ours is wholly free, and origi- 
nally applied to the law in question by those who desire to bring it 
into reproach, and defeat its execution. 1 impute to your Excellency 
no such purpose. On the contrary, I assume it to have been alto- 
gether inadvertent. But I regret it because there is danger that, iu 
thus designating it, and deprecating an armed enforcement of it, yon 
may be understood to regard it as an obnoxious law, which ought not 
to be carried into execution, thus throwing the influence of your high 
position against the Government in a conflict for its existence. The 
call which has been made for service is for one-fifth part of the arms- 
bearing population between 20 and 35 years of age, and of the unmar- 
ried, between 35 and 45. 

The insurgent authorities at Richmond have only called into ser- 
vice heretofore the entire class between 18 and 35-, but are now ex- 
tending the enrollment to classes more advanced in age. 

The burden which the loyal States are called on to sustain is not, in 
proportion to population, one-tenth part as onerous as that which has 
been assumed by the seceded States. Shall not we, if necessary, be 
ready to do as much for the preservation of our political institutions as 
they are doing to overthrow and destroy them ? as much for the cause 
of stable Government as they are for the cause of treason, and for the 
disorganization of society on this continent? I say, for the disorgani- 
zation of society, for no man of reflection can doubt where secession 
would end if a Southern confederacy should be established success- 
fully. I cannot doubt that the people of this patriotic State, which 
you justly say has done so much for the country during the existing 
war, will respond to the call now made upon them. 

The alacrity and enthusiasm with which they have repeatedly 
rushed to arms for the support of the Government, and the defence of 
the National flag from insult and degradation, have exalted the 
character and given new vigor to the moral power of the State, and 
will inspire our descendants with magnanimous resolution for genera- 
tions to come. This example of fidelity to all that is honorable and 
elevated in public duty must not be tarnished. The recent riots in 
this city, coupled as they were with the most atrocious and revolting 
crimes, have cast a shadow over it for the moment. But the promp- 
titude with which the majesty of the law was vindicated, and the 
fearlessness with which a high judicial functionary is pronouncing 
judgment upon the guilty, have done and are doing much to efface 
what, under a different course of action, might have been an in- 
delible stain upon the city. 

It remains only for the people to vindicate themselves from re- 
proach in the eyes of the country and the world by a cheerful acquies- 
cence in the law. That it has defects is generally conceded. That it 
will involve cases of personal hardship is not disputed. War, when 
waged for self-defence, for the maintenance of great principles and for 
the national life, is not exempt from the suffering inseparable from all 
conflicts which are decided by the shock of armies ; and it is by firm- 
ness and our patriotism in meeting all the calls of the country upon 
us, that we achieve the victory, and prove ourselves worthy of it, and 
the cause in which we toil and suffer. Whatever defects the act 


authorizing the enrolment and draft may have, it is the law of the 
land, framed in good faith by the representatives of the people, and 
it must be presumed to be consistent with the provisions of the Con- 
stitution until pronounced to be in conflict with them by competent 
judicial tribunals. Those, therefore, who array themselves against it, 
are obnoxious to far severer censure than the ambitious and misguided 
men who are striving to subvert our Government ; for the latter are 
acting by color of sanction under legislatures and conventions of the 
people in the States they represent. Among us, resistance to the law 
by those who claim and enjoy the protection of the Government, has 
no semblance of justification, and becomes the very blackest of political 
crimes, not only because it is revolt against the constituted authorities 
of the country, but because it would be practically striking a blow for 
treason, and arousing to renewed efforts and new crimes those who are 
staggering to their fall under the resistless power of our recent victories. 
In conclusion, I renew the expression of my anxiety to be assured by 
your Excellency, at the earliest day practicable, that the military 
power of the State will, in case of need, be employed to enforce the 
draft. I desire to receive the assurance, because, under a mixed 
system of Government like ours, it is best that resistance to the law 
should be put down by the authority of the State in which it occurs. 
I desire it also because I otherwise deem it my duty to call on the 
General Government for a force which shall not only be adequate to 
insure the execution of the law, but which shall enable me to carry 
out such decisive measures as shall leave their impress upon the mind 
of the country for years to come. 

I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 

John A. Dix, Major-General. 


Executive Department, Albany, August 15, 1863. 
To Majok-General John A. Dix, U. S. A., Commanding Depart- 
ment of the East : — Sir — I have received the final answer of the Presi- 
dent to my suggestions with regard to the draft in this State. I 
regret that he did not see fit to comply with my requests, as I am 
confident that a generous reliance upon the patriotism of the people 
to fill the thinned ranks of our armies by voluntary enlistment would 
hereafter, as it has heretofore, prove more effectual than any conscrip- 
tion. As I have fully expressed my views on this subject in my cor- 
respondence with the President, of which I send you a copy, it is not 
necessary to again allude to those topics. I had hoped the same 
opportunity would be afforded New York, that has been given to other 
States, of showing to the world that no compulsory process was need- 
ful to send from this State its full quota of men to reinforce our 
armies. As you state in your letter that it is your duty to enforce the 
act of Congress, and as you apprehend its provisions may excite popu- 
lar resistance, it is proper you should know the position which will 
be held by the State authorities. Of course, under no circumstances, 
can they perform duties expressly confided to others; nor can they 
undertake to relieve others from their proper responsibilities. But 


there can be no violation of good order, no riotous proceedings, no 
disturbances of the public peace, which are not infractions of the laws 
of the State; and those laws will be enforced under all circumstances. 
I shall take care that all the executive officers of this State perform 
their duties vigorously and thoroughly, and, if need be, the military 
will be called into requisition. As you are an officer of the General 
Government and not of the State, it does not become me to make 
suggestions to you with regard to your actions under a law of Con- 
gress. You will, of course, be governed by your instructions and 
your own views of duty, and it would be unbecoming in me to obtrude 
my opinions upon one who is charged with high responsibilities, and 
one who is in no degree subject to my direction, or responsible to me 
for anything which he may do in accordance with his own judgment, 
and in pursuance of his convictions of propriety. 
Yours truly, &c, 

Hobatio Seymour. 

general dix to governor seymour. 

Headquarters Department of the East, ) 
Hew York City, Aug. 18, 1863. J 

His Excellency, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of 
New York : — Sir — I did not receive until last evening your letter of 
the 15th instant. 

Immediately on my arrival in this city on the 18th ultimo, I called 
on you with Gen. Canby, and in a subsequent interview with you at 
my headquarters I expressed the wish that the draft in this State 
should be executed without the employment of troops in the service 
of the United States. In a letter addressed to you on the 30th ult., 
I renewed more formally the expression of this wish, and I stated 
that, if the military power of the State could be relied on to enforce 
the draft in case of forcible resistance to it, I need not call on the 
Secretary of War for troops for that purpose. In the same spirit, 
when some of the Marshals in the interior applied to me for aid 
against threatened violence, I referred them to you in order that they 
might be protected by authority. It was my earnest wish that the 
Union arm should neither be seen nor felt in the execution of the law 
for enrolling and calling out the National forces ; but that it might he 
carried out under the aegis of the State which has so often been inter- 
posed between the General Government and its enemies. 

Not having received an answer from you, I applied to the Secretary 
of War, on the 14th inst., for a force adequate to the object. The 
call was promptly responded to, and I shall be ready to meet all oppo- 
sition to the draft. I trust, however, that your determination, of 
which your letter advises me, to call into requisition the military 
power, if need be, to put down violation of good order, riotous pro- 
ceedings, and disturbances of the public peace as infractions of the 
laws of this State, will render it unnecessary to use troops under my 
command for the purpose, and that their only service here may be to 
protect the public property and the officers of the United States in 
the discharge of their duties, and to give to those who intend to 


uphold the Government, as well as those who are seeking to subvert it, 
the assurance that its authoi'ity will be firmly and effectually maintained. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John A. Dix, Major-General. 

governor seymour to general dix. 

State of New York, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, Aug. 20, 1864. J 

To Major-General John A. Dix, Commanding Department of the 
East : — Sir — I have received yours.without date, in answer to my letter 
of the 15th inst. You are already advised of the causes of my delay in 
answering the suggestions in your communication of the 30th July. 
It is also proper I should state to you that no notice was given to me 
of the time when the draft would be made in the city of New York ; 
neither was I advised of the draft which was begun in July, and in- 
terrupted by riotous proceedings. I learned from the New York 
journals, received here on Monday, that the draft would be made on 
Wednesday, which gave me but one day's time in an unofficial notice 
in which to consult with the generals commanding militia in the 
counties of New York and Kings. The notice sent me by Col. Fry, 
advised me of the completion of the enrolment in the several districts, 
the number to be drafted, and the fact that the draft was ordered. I 
send you herewith a copy of one of these letters. They are substan- 
tially alike. They do not state when the draft will be made, and in 
most cases several weeks, and in some instances a month elapses be- 
fore the draft is made. I therefore expected some interval between 
the notice and the draft. 

In the case of the sixth district, in New York, the letter of Col. 
Fry was received the day before the draft commenced. You will see 
that no time was allowed for getting credits for volunteers, for mak- 
ing suggestions, or preparations. I do not know that the fault rests 
with Col. Fry, but it is proper for me to state these facts. 
Truly yours, &c, 

Horatio Seymour. 

Orders and Proclamations concerning the Draft. 


Headquarters First Division N. G-. S., IT. T., ) 
New York, August 17, 1863. J 

General Order No. 8. 

In pursuance of requisitions from the civil authorities, this 
Division is hereby ordered upon duty for the purpose of pro- 
tecting public and private property, and preserving the peace 



of the city. The several regiments will assemble at their armories 
and regimental headquarters, on Tuesday, the 18th inst, at seven 
o'clock p.m., and will wait for orders from their respective brigade- 
generals, or from the Major-General. Brigadier-General Yates will 
establish his headquarters at the Mayor's Office, in the City Hall. 
Brigadier-Generals will make requisitions upon the Commissary-Gen- 
eral for fixed ammunition. Regimental Quartermasters will make 
their contracts for rations at the usual rates. 

By order of Major-General Charles W. Sandford. 



Executive Chambee, August 18, 1863. 

I have received information that the draft is about to be made in 
New York and Brooklyn, and I understand that there is danger of 
disorderly and riotous attacks upon those who are engaged in exe- 
cuting the law of Congress. I cannot believe that any considerable 
number of citizens are disposed to renew the shameful and sad scenes 
of the last month, in which the lives of so many, as well of the inno- 
cent as of the guilty, were destroyed. Our courts are now consign- 
ing to severe punishment many of those who were then guilty of acts 
destructive of the lives and property of their fellow-citizens. These 
events should teach that real or imaginary wrongs cannot be correct- 
ed by unlawful violence. The liberties of our country, and the rights 
of our citizens, can only be preserved by a just regard for legal obliga- 
tions, and an acquiescence in decisions of judicial tribunals. While I 
believe it would have been a wise and humane policy to have procured 
a judicial decision with regard to the constitutionality of the conscrip- 
tion act at an early day, and by a summary process, yet the failure to 
do this in no degree justifies any violent opposition to an act of Congress. 
Until it is set aside by the decision of the judicial tribunals, it must be 
obeyed like any other act of the State or National Legislature. The 
following rule of duty in this respect was laid down in the farewell 
address of Andrew Jackson. This view has always been accepted by 
the friends of our Union, and upholders of our Constitution : — 

" Unconstitutional or oppressive laws may no doubt be passed by Congress, 
either from erroneous views, or the want of due consideration. If they are in the 
reach of judicial authority, the remedy is easy and peaceful; and if, from the charac- 
ter of the law, it is an abuse of power not within the control of the judiciary, then 
free discussion and calm appeals to reason, and to the justice of the people, will not 
fail to redress the wrong. But until the law shall be declared void by the courts, 
or repealed by Congress, no individual, or combination of individuals, can be justi- 
fied in resisting its execution." 

The antagonistic doctrine that men may rightfully resist laws 
opposed to their own ideas of right or duty, leads not only to great 
disorders and violence, but is one of the chief causes of the destruc- 
tive civil war which has wasted the blood and treasure of our people. 

Disregard for the sacredness of the Constitution, for the majesty of 
the law, and for the decisions of the judiciary, is at this time the 
greatest danger which threatens American liberty. The spirit of dis- 
loyalty must be put down. It is inconsistent with social order and 


social security, destructive to the safety of persons and property, and 
subversive of the liberty of the citizen and the freedom of the nation. 

Those who fear that there are designs in any quarter to overthrow 
the rights of the citizen, or to obstruct the accustomed administration 
of our laws, or to usurp any power in violation of constitutional re- 
straints, should bear in mind that all acts of violence, all public dis- 
orders, pave the way for those very usurpations, and that they will be 
regarded with satisfaction by those who, for any cause, may wish to 
destroy either the power or rights of our National or State Government. 
The Constitution and statutes of the State and nation contain ample 
remedies for all wrongs which may be committed, either by rulers or 
citizens ; and those who wish to preserve their rights or to punish 
offenders, whether in public or private life, should themselves carefully 
perform their duty, abstain from all illegal acts, generously support 
the Government, and then calmly and resolutely claim their rights. I 
again repeat the warning which I gave to you during the riotous pro- 
ceedings of the past month : that the only opposition to the conscrip- 
tion which can be allowed is an appeal to the courts. 

The right of every citizen to make such an appeal will be main- 
tained, and the decision of the courts must be respected and obeyed 
by rulers and people alike. No other course is consistent with the 
maintenance of the laws, the peace and order of the city, and the 
safety of its inhabitants. 

Riotous proceedings must and shall be put down. The laws of the 
State of New York must be enforced ; its peace and order maintained, 
and the lives and property of citizens protected at any and every 
hazard. The rights of every citizen will be properly guarded and de- 
fended by the Chief Magistrate of the State. I hereby admonish all 
judicial and executive officers, whose duty it is to enforce the law and 
preserve public order, that they take vigorous and effective measures 
to put down any riotous or unlawful assemblages, and if they find their 
power insufficient for that purpose, to call upon the military in the 
manner pointed out in the statutes of the State. If these measures 
should prove insufficient, I shall then exert the full power of the State, 
in order that the public order may be preserved, and the persons and 
property of the citizens be fully protected. 

Hokatio Seymour. 



Executive Chamber, ) 
Albany, Oct. 20, 1863. J 

The President of the United States has called upon me, as Governor 
of the State of New York, to furnish its quota of three hundred thou- 
sand men to recruit the volunteer forces of the United States, which 
will be largely reduced during the coming year by the expiration of the 
terms of enlistment. At this time, the defenders of the National capi- 
tal are menaced by a superior force, the Army of the Cumberland is 
in imperilled condition, and the military operations of the Government 
are delayed and hindered by the want of adequate military power, and 
are threatened with serious disasters. In this emergency, it is the 


duty of all citizens to listen to the appeal put forth by the President, 
and to give efficient and cheerful aid in filling up the thinned ranks 
of our armies. It is due to our brethren in the field who have battled 
so heroically for the flag of our country, the Union of the States, and 
to uphold the Constitution, that prompt and voluntary assistance should 
be sent to them in this moment of their peril. They went forth in 
full confidence that they would at all times receive from their fellow- 
citizens at home a generous and efficient support. Every motive of 
pride and patriotism should impel us to give this by voluntary and 
cheerful contributions of men and money, and not by a forced con- 
scription or coercive action on the part of the Government. The 
President also advises the citizens of the several States that, in the 
event of the failure to raise the quotas assigned to them, a draft shall 
be made for the deficiency, to commence on the fifth day of January 
next. Not only does duty to our soldiers in the field, and the honor 
of the nation demand that we shall fill our armies by voluntary enlist- 
ments, but the interests of all classes of society will be promoted by 
the success of that system. The unequal burdens which conscription 
unavoidably inflicts on a portion of society not only cause great dis- 
tress and injury to individuals, but are more hurtful to the whole com- 
munity than the equalized distribution of the cost and sacrifices of 
volunteering which more perfectly adjusts itself to the condition of all 
classes. The bounties which will be paid by the General Govern- 
ment, and in this State by the Government of New York, are extreme- 
ly liberal, and much larger than heretofore given. They will aid the 
volunteers who shall enter the service to make ample provision for 
those dependent upon them. I expect all classes of our citizens to 
assist in recruiting the volunteers called for from this State by their 
influence and by liberal contributions, and I call upon all State officials 
to give every assistance in their power to promote enlistments iuto 
our armies, and thus save our citizens from the inequalities, the irrita- 
tions and sufferings of the draft, and at the same time animate our 
soldiers by an exhibition of sympathy and patriotic devotion, and 
give strength to our armies in their battles for the preservation of the 

[Signed] Horatio Seymour. 

Governor Seymour and the Draft. 

goveenoe seymour to the president. 

State op New York, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, August 3, 1863. J 
To the President of the United States : — Sir — At my re- 
quest a number of persons have called upon you with respect 
to the draft in this State, more particularly as it affected the 
cities of New York and Brooklyn. To avoid misapprehensions, 
I deem it proper to state my views and wishes in writing. As the 
draft was one of the causes of the late riot in the city of New York, 
and as that outbreak has been urged by some as a reason for its im- 


mediate execution in that city, it is proper that I should speak of 
that event. At the moment when the militia of the city were absent, 
in pursuance of your request, and when the forces of the General 
Government were withdrawn from its fortifications, leaving it defence- 
less against any attack from abroad, or the riot within its limits, the 
Provost-Marshal commenced the draft without consultation with the 
authorities of the State or of the city. The harsh measure of raising 
troops by compulsion has heretofore been avoided by this Govern- 
ment, and is now resorted to from the belief on its part that it is 
necessary for the support of our arms. I know you will agree with 
me that justice and prudence alike demand that this lottery for life 
shall be conducted with the utmost fairness and openness, so that all 
may know that it is impartial and equal in its operation. It is the 
right of every citizen to be assured that in all public transactions 
there is strict impartiality in a matter so deeply affecting the per- 
sons and happiness of our people. This is called for by every con- 
sideration. I am happy to say that in many of the districts in this 
State, the enrolled lists were publicly exhibited, the names were 
placed in the wheels from which they were to be drawn in the pres- 
ence of men of different parties and of known integrity, and the 
drawings were conducted in a manner to avoid suspicion of wrong. 
As the enrolments are made in many instances by persons unknown 
to the public, who are affected by their action, and who have no voice 
in their selection, care should be taken to prove the correctness of 
every slip. Unfortunately this was not done in the districts of New 
York when the draft was commenced. The excitement caused by 
this unexpected draft led to an unjustifiable attack upon the enrolling 
officers, which ultimately grew into the most destructive riot known 
in the history of our country. Disregard for law, and the disrespect 
for judicial tribunals, produced their natural results of robbery and 
arson, accompanied by murderous outrages upon a helpless race, and 
for a time the very existence of the commercial metropolis of our 
country was threatened. In the sad and humiliating history of this 
riot, it is gratifying that the citizens of New York, without material 
aid from the State or Nation, were able of themselves to put down this 
dangerous insurrection. I do not underrate the value of the services 
rendered by the military or naval officers of the General Govern- 
ment who were stationed in that city, for the public are under great 
and lasting obligations to them for their courage and skill, and their 
wise and prudent counsel. But they had at their command only a 
handful of good troops, who alone were entirely unequal to the duty 
of defending the vast amount of National property which was endan- 
gered. The rioters were subdued by the exertions of the city 
officials, civil and military, the people, the police, and a small body 
of only twelve hundred men, composed equally of State and National 
forces, who availed themselves of the able advice and direction of the 
distinguished military men to whom I have alluded.^ It gives a, grati- 
fying assurance of the ability of the greatest city of our continent to 
maintain order in its midst, under circumstances so disadvantageous, 
against an uprising so unexpected, and having its origin in a question 
deeply exciting to the minds of the great masses of its population. 
The return from the war of some of the New York militia regiments 
restored peace and security to the city. I ordered troops from dif- 


ferent parts of our State, but I could not get them to the city before 
the riot was quelled, neither could the General Government give any 
substantial aid. It could not even man its own forts, nor had it the 
means to protect its own arsenals and navy-yards against any of the 
vessels which -were at that time engaged in burning the ships of our 
merchants almost within sight of our coasts. ' For a time these very 
fortifications were the chief danger to the harbor of New York. One 
thousand men could have seized them all, and have used their arma- 
ments for the destruction of its shipping, and of the city itself. At 
the time this riot took place, I was engaged with Senator Morgan 
and Comptroller Robinson, of this State, on the subject of harbor 
defences, and placed under the direction of General Wool the unor- 
ganized bodies of National volunteers still under my command, and I 
ordered bodies of the military from the interior of New York into the 
fortifications, to be under his control, and I made arrangements with 
him for their reception ; but on the 12th instant, the day before the 
riot broke out, I was requested by General Wool to countermand my 
orders directing the militia to proceed to the harbor of New York. 
The reason for this, I understand, is that the rules of the service or 
the laws of the United States do not permit the War Department to 
accept of the services of troops for special or qualified purposes. The 
inability of the Government at that moment to defend its forts and 
public property, or to give any substantial assistance in putting 
down a riot, while the militia of the city were supporting the Nation- 
al cause in another field, will be shown by the following letter, 
which was communicated to my associates, Messrs. Morgan and Rob- 
inson, and to myself, the week before these outrages occurred. 

Headquarters Department of the East, ) 
New York, June 30. j 

To His Excellency, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New York :— 
,gtr^-Allow me to call your attention to the defenceless condition of this city. I 
':have only five hundred and fifty men to garrison eight forts. One-half of these can- 
not be called artillerists, being very imperfectly instructed in any part of artillery 
duty. The Roanoke is ordered to proceed to Hampton Goads, leaving no vessel of 
war in the harbor or at the depot that could be available in less than ten days. The 
militia of this gity and Brooklyn haw either been or are being sent to protect and 
defend Pennsylvania, who is now paying 1 dear for her neglecting to take rare of her- 
self by guarding her frontier, Is it wise for New York to follow her example by 
neglecting to protect the city of New York, the great emporium of the country, and 
of more importance at the present moment to the Government than all other cities 
under its control ? If I had a sufficient number of men to man our guns I might 
protect the city from ordinary shipsrof-war, but not from iron^clad steamers. In our 
present condition, from want of wen to man our guns, the Alabama, or any other 
vessel of her class might, wUbput fear of injury, enter our harbor, and in a few hours 
destroy one hundred millions of property. I have done all in my power to guard 
against the present condition pf the city ; but I have thus far been unsuccessful. I 
have called the attention of the Mayor as well as pthers, again and again, to the de- 
fenceless condition of the city, The Mayor can do but little, from the fact that the 
militia have been ordered to defend Pennsylvania, We ought to have one or two 
iron-clad steamers, and several gunboats, to guard the harbor. These, with men to 
man the guns of our forts, would be sufficient to protect and defend the city. The 
company of artillery raised for the forts in this harbor, which I requested your Ex- 
cellency to turn over to me, has been sent to Pennsylvania, The condition Pf the 
city is an invitation to rebels to make the effort to assail it, 

I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

John E, Wool,, Major-General. 


While this deplorable riot has brought disgrace upon the great 
city in which it occurred, it is due to the character of its population 
to say that they were able to put it down without aid from any other 
quarter, to save their city, and to rescue their own and the Govern- 
ment property from the violence of a mob at a critical moment, when 
they had sent their armed men to save the National capital from fall- 
ing into the hands of hostile arms. For this patriotic service they 
have already received your thanks and the gratitude of the nation. 
However much we may denounce and deplore the violence of bad 
or misguided men, it would be alike unjust and ungrateful to urge 
the execution of the draft in any spirit ot resentment, or to show any 
unwillingness to see that the most exact justice is observed in the 
execution of the measure and in fixing the amount of the quotas. I 
am sure that you will unite with me in repelling any counsels sug- 
gested by excited passions or partisan prejudices ; for you have on 
more than one occasion acknowledged the generous and patriotic 
promptitude with which the city of New York has responded to 
calls made upon it by you in moments of sudden peril. The act of 
Congress providing for the conscription directs that in determining 
the quotas of men to be furnished by each State, regard shall be had 
to the number of volunteers and militia furnished by them, respec- 
tively, since the commencement of the present rebellion, and that 
they shall be so assigned as to equalize the number among the dis- 
tricts of the several States, allowing for those already furnished, and 
for the time of their service. I believe that New York is the only 
Atlantic State, save Rhode Island, which has furnished her full quota 
heretofore, and. has also furnished a surplus, which entitles her to a 
credit upon the present draft. But the statement made at the office 
of the Provost-Marshal-General at Washington of this credit does not 
agree with that claimed at the office of the Adjutant-General of this 
State. I do not doubt the impartiality of Colonel Fry, and I believe 
that the differences of these statements can be reconciled if an op- 
portunity is given to compare the records of the two officers. I ask 
that this may be done. 

After a careful examination I am satisfied that the quotas now de- 
manded from the Congressional districts in New York and Kings 
County are glaringly unjust. Either the names enrolled in these dis- 
tricts greatly exceed the true number, or the enrolments in other 
parts of the State are grossly deficient. The practical injustice will 
be the same in either case. If regard is had to the number hereto- 
fore sent from the several districts, the records of our State show that 
New York and Brooklyn have furnished more than their proportion. 
These records were carefully kept under the administration of Gov- 
ernor Morgan. If the quotas now fixed upon these cities are propor- 
tioned to the number enrolled, they suffer a double wrong, for they do 
not get a due credit for the past, and the enrolments are excessive as 
compared with other sections of the State. I send you tables which 
show these results, and I will also state here a few facts. The quota 
for the Fourth Congressional District, with a population of 131,854, 
is 5,881. That fixed upon the Fifteenth Congressional District, with 
a population of 132,232, is only 2,260. The quota upon the last-named 
district should exceed that of the city district ; for the census returns 
show that there is a larger population of females and of aliens in the 


city of New York than in the country. If the comparison is made 
by the number of votes instead of population, taking the last election 
when the vote was very full, it will be seen that the call upon the city 
district is 5,881 upon a vote of 12,363, while upon the country district 
it is only 2,260 upon a vote of 23,165. In two adjoining districts in 
the city of Brooklyn, the discrepancies are equally striking. In that 
represented by Mr. Odell, with a population of 132,242, the quota is 
2,69'7. In the adjoining district, represented by Mr. Kalbfleisch, with 
a population of 151,951 it is 4,146. Yet the voters in Mr. OdelPs dis- 
trict are 16,421, and in that of Mr. Kalbfleisch, 15,967. The draft as at 
present proposed, will throw upon the eastern portion of the State, 
comparatively less than one-third of the Congressional districts, more 
than one-half of the burdens of the conscription. This is particularly 
unjust toward New York and Brooklyn ; for they have not only fur- 
nished their fair proportions heretofore without counting the numbers 
they have given to the navy of the country, but they have been the 
recruiting grounds for other States, and constant complaints are now 
made that agents from other States are now employed for that pur- 
pose within those cities, and are bringing persons there to act as sub- 
stitutes, thus reducing still more the number of persons who will be 
compelled to meet this undue demand which obliges them to leave 
their families and their homes, and to peril their lives, if they are less 
fortunate than others in their ability to pay the sum fixed as a com- 
mutation. I earnestly request that you will direct that the enrolling 
officers shall submit to the State authorities their lists, and that an 
opportunity shall be given me, as Governor of this State, and to other 
proper State officers, to look into the fairness of these proceedings. 
Justice to the enrolling officers, to the honor and dignity of the Gov- 
ernment, to the people who are so deeply affected, and to the public 
tranquillity, demands that the suspicions which are entertained shall 
be removed if they are unfounded. It is just to add, that the Admin- 
istration owes this to itself, as these inequalities fall most heavily upon 
those districts which have been opposed to its political views. I am 
sure that this fact will strengthen your purpose to see that justice is 
done. The enrolments are only complete in about one-half of the 
districts. The results were sent to me at intervals during the month 
of July, but were only recently received by me in consequence of my 
absence at the city of New York. I am confident that you will agree 
with me that the public interest in every respect will be promoted by 
affording the fullest evidence of the faithfulness and impartiality with 
which the conscription is conducted. In the meanwhile, large num- 
bers are availing themselves of the bounties offered by the State and 
National Governments, and are voluntarily enlisting, thus mitigating 
the distress which a compulsory draft necessarily carries into the 
homes of our people. The State of New York offers liberal bounties 
to those who enlist. I believe it will be found that the abandonment 
of voluntary enlistment for a forced conscription will prove to be un- 
fortunate as a policy ; that it will not secure either so many or so ef- 
fective men as that system which, one year since, gave to the Govern- 
ment the largest army ever raised within so short a space of time 
by the voluntary action of any people. 

I do not propose to discuss in this connection the reasons why the 
people withhold the support heretofore so cheerfully rendered. Here- 


after I shall make that the subject of further communication. But 
assuming it to be due to the exhaustion of a number of those able to 
bear arms, it would only prove how heavily this new demand falls 
upon the productive interests and labor of our country, and it makes 
another reason why the heavy burdens of conscription should be 
tempered by every act calculated to remove suspicions and to allay 
excitement. Above all, it should induce every effort to get voluntary 
enlistments, which fall less heavily upon the domestic happiness and 
business arrangements of our citizens. I ask that the draft may be 
suspended in this State, as has been done elsewhere, until we shall 
learn the results of recruiting, which is now actively going on through- 
out the State, and particularly in the city of New York. I am advised 
that large numbers are now volunteering. Whatever credit shall 
hereafter be allowed to this State, it is certain that there is a balance 
in its favor. It is but just that the delinquent States should make up 
their deficiency before New York, which has so freely and generously 
responded to the calls of the Government, shall be refused the oppor- 
tunity to continue its voluntary support of the armies of -the Union. 
There is another point which profoundly excites the public mind, which 
has been brought to your attention by persons from this and other 
States. Our people have been taught that laws must be upheld and 
respected at eveiy cost and every sacrifice ; that the conscription act, 
which demands their persons, and perhaps their lives, must be 
promptly obeyed, because it is a statute of our Government. To support 
the majesty of law a million of men had gone forth from Northern 
homes to the battle-fields of the South. More than 300,000 have 
been laid in bloody graves, or have perished in lingering disease. The 
guilt of the rebellion consists in raising an armed hand against constitu- 
tional or legal obligations. The soldier, who has given up his life ; the 
capitalist, who has contributed his treasure ; the mechanic and the 
laborer, who have paid the tax-gatherer the earnings of their toil, have 
cheerfully made these sacrifices, because they saw in the power of law 
not only obligations to obedience, but protection to their rights, to 
their persons, and to their homes. It is this protection that alone 
gives value to our Government. It is believed by at least one-half of 
the people of the loyal States that the conscription act, which they 
are called upon to obey, because it stands upon the statute-book, is in 
itself a violation of the supreme constitutional law. There is a fear 
and suspicion that while they are threatened with the severest penalties 
of the law they are to be deprived of its protection. In the minds of 
the American people the duty of obedience and the rights to protec- 
tion are inseparable. If it is, therefore, proposed on the one hand to 
exact obedience at the point of the bayonet, and upon the other hand 
to shut off, by military power, all approach to our judicial tribunals, 
and to deny redress for wrongs, we have reason to fear the most ruinous 

These disasters may be produced as well by bringing laws into 
contempt, and by a destruction of respect for the decision of courts, 
as by open resistance. This Government and our people have more 
to fear from an acquiescence in the disorganizing teachings, that war 
suspends their legal rights, or destroys their legal remedy, than they 
have to fear from resistance to the doctrine that measures can be en- 
forced without regard to the decisions of judicial tribunals. The 


refusal of governments to give protection excites citizens to disobe- 
dience. The successful execution of the conscription act depends 
upon the settlement, by judicial tribunals, of its constitutionality. 
With such decisions in its favor it will have a hold upon the public re- 
spect and deference which it now lacks. A refusal to submit it to 
this test will be regarded as evidence that it wants legality and bind- 
ing power. A measure so unusual in the history of this country, 
which jars so harshly with those ideas of voluntary action which 
have so long prevailed in this community, and which have been 
so conspicuous in the conduct of this war, should go forth with 
all the sanction of every department of our Government — the leg- 
islative, the executive, and the judicial. With such sanctions it 
would overcome the hostility which it naturally creates in the minds 
of a people conscious of their patriotism and jealous of their rights. 
I earnestly urge that the Government interpose no "obstructions to the 
earliest practical judicial decisions upon this point. Our accustomed 
procedures give to our citizens the right to bring all questions affect- 
ing personal liberty or compulsory service in a direct and summary 
manner to the judges and courts of the State or Nation. The de- 
cisions which would thus naturally be rendered within a brief period, 
and after full and ample discussion, would make such a current of 
judicial opinion as would satisfy the public mind that the act is either 
valid or void. The right of this Government to enforce military ser- 
vice in any other mode than that pointed out by the Constitution, 
cannot be established by a violent enforcement of the statute. It 
must be determined ultimately by the judiciary. It should be deter- 
mined in advance of an enforcement which must be destructive to so 
many lives. It would be a cruel mockery to withhold such decision 
until after the irremediable injury of its execution upon those who 
are unable to pay the sum demanded in lieu of their persons. Those 
who are able to commute might have their remedy by recovery of 
the money paid in commutation. No evils are to be feared if the 
law should be pronounced unconstitutional. The submission of this 
Government to the decisions of our courts would give it a stronger hold 
upon the public confidence. It would add new vigor to our system 
of government, and it would call forth another exhibition of voluntary 
offerings of men and treasure to uphold an Administration which 
should thus defend and respect the rights of the people. The spirit of 
lawlessness in our land would be rebuked, respect for legal obligations 
would be invigorated, confidence in our Government would be 
strengthened, the dissensions and jealousies at the North, which now 
weaken our cause, would at once be healed up, and your voice would 
be potential in calling forth the power and force of a united people. 
By what willing strength has done in tke past, you may foresee what 
willing and united strength may accomplish in the future. It cannot 
be said of New York, I believe it cannot be said of any Northern 
State, that, if the conscription act be declared unconstitutional, the 
Nation is thereby abandoned to weakness and paralysis. Be assured 
such a fate can never befall a Government which represents the con- 
victions of the people, which works with the spirit and provisions of 
the Constitution. It is no more possible, under such circumstances, that 
the Nation should be left in helplessness, than that the strong man's 
arm should refuse to obey his will. 


If this bill, which stands upon the assumed right of Congress to 
pass such an act, shall fall to the ground, there is still left the undis- 
puted authority to call forth the armed power of the nation in the 
manner distinctly set forth in the Constitution of our country. I do 
not dwell upon what I believe would be the consequence of a violent, 
harsh policy before the constitutionality of the act is tested. You 
can scan the immediate future as well as I. The temper of the people 
to-day you can readily learn by consulting, as I have done, with men 
of all political parties, and of every profession and occupation. The 
nation's strength is in the hearts of the people. Estrange them, divide 
them, and the foundations fall — the structure must perish. I am 
confident you will feel that acquiescence in my request will be but a 
small concession for our Government to make to our people, and par- 
ticularly that it should assure itself and them of the accordance of its 
subordinate laws with the supreme law of the land. It will be but a 
little price to pay for the peace of the public mind. It will abate 
nothing from the dignity, nothing from the sovereignty of the nation, 
to show a just regard for the majesty of the law, and a paternal in- 
terest in the wishes and welfare of our citizens. 
Truly yours, &c, 

Hoeatio Seymour. 

statement of population, draft numbers, voters, etc. 

Congressional District. Population. Draft. Vote of 1862. 

Twenty-ninth, 114,556 1,767 20,097 

Seventeenth, 114,526 1,838 17,882 

Twenty-third, 116,980 2,088 22,535 

Twenty-eighth, 129,365 2,015 21,026 

Fifteenth, 132,232 2,260 23,165 

Twenty-seventh, 135,488 2,416 25,601 

Thirtieth, 141,971 2,539 21,385 

Congressional District. Population. Draft. Vote of 1862. 

Third, 132,242 2,697 16,421 

Second, 151,951 4,146 15,967 

Sixth, 117,148 4,538 12,777 

Eighth, 175,998 4,892 15,195 

Fourth, 131,854 5,881 12,363 

The statement shows the population, the number to be drafted, 
and the number of voters in the several Congressional districts, in 
which enrolments have been completed, and of which reports have 
been made to this office up to the 3d day of August, 1863. 


Executive Mansion, "Washington, August 1. 
His Excellency, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New 
York, Albany, N". Y. :— Your communication of the 3d instant has been 


received and attentively considered. I cannot consent to suspend 
the draft in New York, as you request, because, among other reasons, 
time is too important. By the figures you send, which I presume 
are correct, the twelve districts represented fall in two classes of 
eight and four respectively. 

The disparity of the quotas for the draft in these two classes is cer- 
tainly very striking, being the difference between an average of 2,200 in 
one class and 4,864 in the other. Assuming that the districts are equal 
one to another in entire population, as required by the plan on which they 
were made, this disparity is such as to require attention. Much of it, 
however, I suppose will be accounted for by the fact that so many more 
persons fit for soldiers are in the city than are in the cou ntry, who have too 
recently arrived from other parts of the United States and from Europe, 
to be either included in the 'census of 1860, or to have voted in 1862. 
Still, making due allowance for this, I am yet unwilling to stand upon 
it as an entirely sufficient explanation of the great disparity. I shall 
direct the draft to proceed in all the districts, drawing, however, at 
first from each of the four districts, to wit: Second, Fourth, Sixth, 
and Eighth, only 2,200, being the average quota of the other class. 
After this drawing these four districts, and also the Seventeenth and 
Twenty-ninth, shall be carefully re-enrolled, and, if you please, agents 
of yours may witness every step of the process. Any deficiency which 
may appear by the new enrolment will be supplied by a special draft 
for that object, allowing due credit for volunteers who may be ob- 
tained from these districts respectively during the interval ; and at all 
points, so far as consistent with practical convenience, due credits 
shall be given for volunteers, and your Excellency shall be notified of 
the time fixed for commencing a draft in each district. 

I do not object to abide a decision of the United States Supreme 
Court, or of the judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the draft 
law. In fact I should be willing to facilitate the obtaining of it. But 
I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being obtained. We are 
contending with an enemy who, as I understand, drives every able- 
bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives 
bullocks into a slaughter-pen. No time is wasted, no argument is 
used. This produces an army which will soon turn upon our now 
victorious soldiers already in the field, if they should not be sustained 
by recruits as they should be. It produces an army with rapidity not 
to be matched on our side if we waste time to re-experiment with the 
volunteer system, already deemed by Congress, and probably, in fact, 
so far exhausted as to be inadequate ; and then more time to obtain a 
court decision as to whether a law is constitutional, which requires a 
part of those not now in the service to go to the aid of those who are 
already in it ; and still more time to determine with absolute certainty 
that we get those who are to go in the precisely legal proportion to 
those who are not to go. My purpose is to be in my action just and 
constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the important duty 
with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and the free prin- 
ciples of our common country. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 



Albany, August 8, 1863. 

To the President op the United States : — I received your com- 
munication of the 7th instant this day. While I recognize the con- 
cessions you make, I regret your refusal to comply with my request 
to have the draft in this State suspended until it can be ascertained 
if the enrolments are made in accordance with the law of Congress, 
or with the principles of justice. I know that our army needs re- 
cruits, and for this and other reasons I regret a decision which stands 
in the way of a prompt and cheerful movement to fill up the thinned 
ranks of our regiments. New York has never paused in its efforts 
to send volunteers to the assistance of our gallant soldiers in the field. 
It has not only met every call heretofore made, while every other At- 
lantic and the New England States, except Rhode Island, were delin- 
quent, but it continued liberal bounties to volunteers when all efforts 
were suspended in many other quarters. Active exertions are now 
made to organize the new and fill up the old regiments. These exer- 
tions would be more successful if the draft were suspended, and much 
better men than reluctant conscripts would join our armies. 

On the 7th inst. I advised you, by letter, that I would furnish 
the strongest proof of the injustice, if not fraud, in the enrolment 
in certain districts ; I now send you a full report made to me by Judge- 
Advocate Waterbury. I am confident when you have read, it that 
you will agree with me that the honor of the nation and of your Ad- 
ministration demands that the abuses it points out should be cor- 
rected and punished. You say we are contending with an enemy 
who, as you understand, " drives every able-bodied man he can reach 
into the ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaugh- 
ter-pen." You will agree with me that even this, if impartially done 
to all classes, is more tolerable than any scheme which shall fraudu- 
lently force a portion of the community into military service by a dis- 
honest perversion of the law. You will see by the report of Mr. 
Waterbury, that there is no theory which can explain or justify the 
enrolment in this State. I wish to call your attention to the Tables 
on pages 5, 6, 7, and 8, which show that, in nine Congressional districts 
in Manhattan, Long, and Staten Islands, the number of conscripts called 
for is thirty-three thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine, while in 
nineteen other districts the number of conscripts called for was only 
thirty-nine thousand six hundred and twenty-six. 

This draft is to be made from the first class — those between the 
ages of twenty and thirty-five. It appears by the census of 1 860, 
that in the first nine Congressional districts there were 164,797 males 
between twenty and thirty-five; they are called upon for 33,729 
conscripts. In the other nineteen districts, with a population of 
males between twenty and thirty-five, of 270,786, only 39,626 are 

Again, to show the partisan character of the enrolment, you will 
find on the twenty-first page of the military report, that in the first 
nine Congressional districts the total vote of 1860 was 151,243. 
The number of conscripts now demanded is 33,729. In the nineteen 
other districts the total vote was 457,257. Yet these districts are 


called upon to furnish only 39,626 drafted men. Each of the nine dis- 
tricts gave majorities in favor of one political party, and each of the 
nineteen districts gave majorities in favor of the other party. 
You cannot and will not fail to right these gross wrongs. 
Yours truly, 

Horatio Seymour. 

communication to the legislature announcing the adjustment 
op the draft difficulty. 

State of New York, Executive Depabtment, ) 
Albany, March 1, 1864. J 
To the Legislature : — In my Annual Message, in referring to the 
enrolment and the draft, I alluded to the inequality of the enrolment 
as follows:^— 

New York is required to furnish more than other States in proportion to its popu- 
lation. This is shown by the following tables : 
The average ratio of enrolment to the male population in the Western 

States, is 19 per cent. 

In New Jersey 20 " 

In Pennsylvania 1 8f " 

In the New England States it is IT " 

In the State of New York it is 22 " 

Massachusetts, with ten Congressmen and a population of 1,231,006, has 

to furnish, under the recent call for 300,000 men 15,126 

The first nine Congressional districts of the State of New York, with a 

population of 1,218,949, are called upon for 25,166 

The quota of Vermont and New Hampshire, with a united population of 

641,171, and six Representatives in Congress, and four Senators, is. . . . 7,099 

The quota of two Congressional districts in New York, the 4th and 6th, 

with a population of 283,229, is 7,628 

It is not claimed that this inequality grows out of any deficiency of 
volunteers heretofore furnished by this State. 

Messrs. James A. Bell, O. Kellogg, and Wm. H. Bogart, at my re-^ 
quest, called the attention of the Secretary of War to this subject. 
He promptly appointed William F. Allen, of this State, John Love, 
of Indiana, and Chauncey Smith, of Massachusetts, a commission to 
determine upon some fair mode for correcting these glaring inequali- 

This commission, composed of two citizens of other States, with 
one from the State of New York, have come to a unanimous conclu- 
sion that the enrolment for the State of New York, under the act 
of March 3, 1863, was "imperfect, erroneous, and excessive, espe- 
cially so with reference to the cities of New York and Brooklyn." 

The commission after due consideration, recommend, in view of 
the inaccuracies of the enrolment, that the quota of 60,378 men 
allotted to this State, under the call of the President of October 17, 
1863, be reduced to 52,858, with a corresponding reduction under the 
call of February 1, 1864. 

I am happy to state that I have received information from Wash- 
ington, that the quota of this State, for the calls of 500,000 men, has 
been reduced, as recommended by the commission — such reduction 
amounting to between thirteen and fourteen thousand men. 


In a crisis like the present, the saving of so many men to the indus- 
trial interests of the State should not be lightly estimated. The 
labor of thirteen thousand men, distributed throughout the State, 
will afford great relief, especially in the rural districts, where farm 
laborers are now with difficulty obtained. 

While the State pays a bounty of $75 to each volunteer, local 
bounties vary from $300 to $600 per man. In a financial point of 
view, this reduction therefore results in a saving of at least five mil- 
lions of dollars to the people of New York. 

It is gratifying to me to be able to bear testimony to the aid re- 
ceived, in the adjustment of the matter at Washington, from several 
senators and a number of representatives in Congress. 

It is also due to the Secretary of War, - to state, that he has shown 
a willingness to do justice to the State of New York in this matter, 
by the appointment of an able and impartial commission. 

The following extracts from the report of the commissioners show 
the views held by them: — 

" The commission, after a full investigation, and in view of all the facts elicited, 
are unanimously of the opinion, that the enrolment in the State of New York is im- 
perfect and erroneous, excessive in some districts, and possibly too small in others, 
and certainly excessive in the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and especially as 
compared with other States, and cannot be relied upon as a just and equitable basis 
for the assignment of the quota of the State of New York, or among the several dis- 
tricts thereof. Justice to the enrolling officers and agents requires, that it should be 
distinctly stated, that their fidelity or integrity is by no means impeached by any 
inaccuracies that may exist in the enrolment. They were the necessary result of 
the execution of the law under the circumstances and with the means at the com- 
mand of the officers, and it is not perceived how they could be avoided." 

* * # # * * * * * 

"In conclusion, the commission are of the opinion, and so report, that the quota 
assigned to the State of New York, and the quota assigned to the several districts 
of the cities of New York and Brooklyn, are erroneous and excessive, and should 
be reduced." 



The Legislature, April 16, 1864, passed unanimously the following 
resolutions : — 

"Resolved, That the thanks of this House be, and are hereby 
tendered to his Excellency, Governor Seymour, for calling the atten- 
tion of the general Government at Washington to the errors in the 
apportionment of the quota of this State, under the enrolment act of 
Jlarch 3, 1863, and for his prompt and efficient efforts in procuring a 
correction of the same. 

" JResolved, That the Clerk of this House transmit to the Governor 
a copy of this report and resolutions." 


Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting in Buffalo, 
N. Y., Oct. 26, 1863. 

Points upon which all Men Agree — Points of Divergence — The Democracy 
on higher Ground than the Republicans — It proposes to wage the War 
for attainable Purposes — Congressional Declaration of the Objects of the 
War — Progress of the change of Policy — The Objects sought by the 
Party in Power Unattainable — Centralization Criticised — The Strength 
of the Government in the Affections of the People — The Draft Difficul- 
ties — The more Profitable Results of Volunteering — New York and the 
Pennsylvania Invasion — The Value of the Constitution — Disregard of it 
by the ruling Power and the Dangers thereof — Loyalty of the Demo- 
cratic Party. 

I sincerely regret that Governor Bramlette is not here to-night to 
speak to you. I wished you to learn from the lips of a patriot of Ken- 
tucky that the language of those who love and mean to uphold the 
Constitution, and intend to preserve the Union, is alike uttered by 
men from the North or the South, from the East or the West. You 
would have found that that distinguished man, who lives in a com- 
munity particularly afFected by the war in which we are engaged, 
and who has stood, up with others abreast of the tide of secession, 
was in full accord and sympathy with us who meet here to-night to 
utter words which' we hope may be calculated to preserve the Union 
of our land which we have so much at heart. In his absence I will 
address you briefly in regard to the great questions of the day. Our 
land is afflicted with a civil war of proportions unexampled in the 
history of the world. The flame of a great conflagration is lapping 
up the blood of our citizens ; is destroying the property of our peo- 
ple ; is carrying mourning and death into our homes, and threatens 
the very fabric of our Union. Under circumstances like these, my 
friends, when we assemble together, we ought to come up with an 
honest purpose to take that course at the coming election which shall 
be calculated to advance our country's good, to make our Nation 
once again what it was a few years since — the envy and admiration 
of the whole world. Unfortunately, at times like these, when so much 
is at stake, and when there is every reason why men should be calm, 
dispassionate, thoughtful, and patriotic, we are all too prone to give 
way to passion and prejudice. You hear from some quarters only 
the language of denunciation, of abuse; appeals to passion, where 
there should be arguments addressed to our consciences and our con- 
victions of duty. Let us meet the questions we are to discuss to-night 
with an anxious purpose to discover where the right is, and having 
succeeded in that, boldly, manfully, patriotically, to sustain and main- 
tain it. 

Now, in the discussions which are going on in this country, there 
are certain points upon which all men are agreed. Let us at the out- 
set ascertain what they are, so that we may more clearly understand 
the nature of the disagreements which exist between us. All men 
agree in this — that if the war is prolonged for a certain period of 
time, with a continually increasing debt, that there must come a time 
when the debt will reach an amount that will overwhelm us with 

BUFFALO, N. T., OCTOBER 26, 1863. 161 

national bankruptcy. Men do not agree as to what that sum may- 
be; one may say two thousand millions, another three thousand 
millions ; but there is no man who does not agree that there is an 
amount of public indebtedness which, if fastened upon us, must bring 
upon us the calamity and disgrace of National bankruptcy. There is 
another point of agreement. There is no man who does not admit 
that if this war continues on for a certain period it must overwhelm 
us with National ruin. Then here are two points on which, although 
we may differ as to the amount of time, we essentially agree — two 
events that all admit must bring upon us individual and National ruin. 
All agree that we must bring this war to a successful issue before we 
have been overwhelmed by these National evils. We agree, too, that 
the exigency is so great and the peril so imminent that we are bound 
to put forth every exertion to save our country from these calamities 
which lie in our pathway, as soon as may be. We say to our oppo- 
nents, we are ready with you to put forth every effort of physical 
power; we consecrate ourselves and all that we have to the salvation 
and perpetuation of our country. In all solemnity I say it, with a heart 
full of love for my country ; with a desire to sacrifice anything and 
everything for its preservation and its happiness — with all solemnity 
I say it, that here again, as we have before done, do we dedicate our- 
selves to this most holy and patriotic work of saving this fair land of 
ours from ruin and disintegration. Now in this we are agreed. 

Where, then, commences the point of divergence ? Where do our 
footways branch off from each other ? We go further than they, and 
agree to add one further influence against rebellion — that of concilia- 
tion. We desire to put the North upon a platform upon which all 
can stand, so that we shall present one undivided and unbroken front. 
We will not only bring all the powers of force against the rebel- 
lion, but we will do more than that ; we will carry disunion into its 
ranks by extending to them in this hour when victory has crowned us, 
and when it is great and magnanimous so to do, every inducement 
that honest and honorable men can offer to them, to return to the 
Union. In this we differ from our political opponents ; we do not 
refuse to exert one single energy less than they ; we propose to bring 
to bear those influences which the history of the world, your own good 
judgment, everything, teaches you is essential to bring to a success- 
ful termination any contest, whether between individuals or nations. 
We feel that upon this point, therefore, we hold higher ground than 
is held by those who stigmatize us as being untrue to our country. 
Why do they stigmatize us thus ? They would hardly make that 
imputation against the hundreds and thousands who have gone forth 
from the Democratic ranks to battle for the flag of our Nation. Why, 
then ? Is it because we are willing not only to sustain our soldiers 
in the field, to sacrifice property and life, but that we say that, more' 
than this, we will sacrifice upon the altar of our country our pride 
and passions, when pride and passion stand in the way of our suc- 
cess ? 

But this is not the only point of difference. Who will not concede 
that unless there is more energy, more skill, more judgment exhibit- 
ed, than has heretofore marked the progress of this war, we are com- 
ing to certain destruction ? A man may float along the beautiful 
river that runs by your city, in safety, for a time ; but if he continues, 



day after day, to float idly along, and allow the time to pass by when 
he can reach the margin in safety, he will find himself at last in sight 
of that mighty cataract whose name is famous throughout the world, 
and will find himself within the swift vortex of its waters, which will 
whelm him in utter destruction. So will our nation ; unless we put 
forth every exertion, not only of material power, but of wise states- 
manship, of Christian consideration, of patriotic sacrifice of passion 
and prejudice, we, too, shall find, alas, too late, that the period is past 
when we can rescue ourselves fVom the dangers that lie in our course. 

That party is most true to the country which proposes to wage this 
war for purposes which are attainable, which are within reach. On 
the other hand, that party does the most to endanger our future and 
bring us to destruction, which opposes new and greater obstacles to 
the successful termination of the war. Now I ask you to listen for a 
moment while I state to you the attitude of the two great parties up- 
on this subject. We say, on our part, that we wage this war for the 
purpose of upholding our Constitution, and of maintaining and defend- 
ing those personal, home, hearth-stone rights of the citizen which are 
guaranteed in that Constitution. These, certainly, are objects worthy 
of the approval of all good men. They are more easily reached than 
the objects sought for by our opponents in this war. It is easier to 
bring back the Southern States, when we say that if they come back 
to the performance of their duties they shall also enjoy their rights as 
States, than it is, if we say that they must, when they return, bow ab- 
jectly to the dictation of passionate and infuriated men. 

Let me call your attention to the history of the war. When it 
began, by the unanimous vote of Congress, representing all parties, it 
was solemnly declared that the object of this contest was to put down 
resistance to the laws, to maintain the dominion of the Constitution 
over the whole country, and to restore the Union of our fathers. At 
that time there was no division of sentiment in the North. All were 
united in carrying on the contest. All gave their contributions of men 
and money, and, for a time, the voice of party seemed to be hushed. 
But a little while after that we were told that the war was to be contin- 
ued for another purpose ; that there was a cause for this difficulty ; that 
slavery was the cause, and slavery was to be removed. We protested 
against this issue. Time has moved on, and now we have another 
issue. Not content to have the war end with the restoration of the 
honor and the supremacy of the Constitution, or even with the de- 
struction of slavery, you have recently heard the declaration from the 
Vice-President of the United States, and by senators from Eastern 
States, who not only prognosticate, but make the policy of this Ad- 
ministration, that this war is to go on until the General Government 
has added to it new power over, and new relations to, the vast regions 
of the South, which, they say, once were States. You have heard the 
boast by one senator that nevt only should the war go on, but that it 
should go on until the great and imperial State of New York was 
dragged at the heels of a conqueror. Can we hope for a successful 
termination of this war within a period of time that will save us from 
National bankruptcy and National ruin, if we are to have, day after 
day, new and more difficult issues presented, and if, day after day, in 
its progress, we are to be told that its ends and objects are to be more 
and more revolutionary and subversive of all we have been taught to 
honor or hold dear in our system of government? 

BUFFALO, N. T., OCTOBER 26, 1863. 163 

We propose to wage this war for a purpose upon which the whole 
North is united ; for a purpose which will draw to our standard hun- 
dreds and thousands of hearts in the South that yet heat with love for 
our old banner and our old Constitution. They propose that we shall 
carry on the war for purposes that we at the North cannot unani- 
mously consent to ; they propose, not to put down revolution, but to 
make revolution ; they propose to offer no inducement for rebels to 
submit to the laws, but they say to us and to them that we shall no 
longer have guaranty of the Constitution for the preservation of our 
liberties hereafter as they have been preserved before. I appeal to 
you, if this is not their attitude. Can the war be brought to a suc- 
cessful conclusion by a party that coolly proposes that, when, every 
interest of the South shall vibrate toward the Union, we shall plunge 
into an abyss of controversy and discussion, instead of saying that 
the Constitution shall then, as in times past, be our guide ? Consider, 
I pray you, seriously the propositions that have been laid before the 
community by our opponents in reference to this war. See if it is not 
true that they make this war one for indefinite purposes; for objects 
that we cannot attain, and ought not to attain ; if they do not go fur- 
ther than saying that it is a war for the purpose of restoring the 
Union and the Constitution. They declare boldly and openly that we 
are to abandon the traditions and laws of our fathers. To attain their 
ends it is necessary to trample upon the Constitution, so that the 
General Government shall be vested with greater powers than we 
have ever heretofore been willing to confer upon it. They tell you 
that we want a strong Government at Washington. They- say that 
if we take jurisdiction from localities, from towns, and counties, and 
States, and centralize it at Washington, we shall have a stronger Gov- 
ernment. I deny that proposition. I insist upon it that if they 
should succeed in that policy, so far from making the Government 
stronger, they will make it weaker. I do not charge that they do not 
honestly entertain the convictions that they express, but I charge, if car- 
ried out, they will involve the Government in ruin. The strength of the 
General Government lies not alone in the power which has been con- 
ferred upon it, but in the restraints which the Constitution throws 
around it. It is made strong, not only by what the Constitution says 
it may do, but by what the Constitution says it may not do. 

The Constitution forbids Congress to make laws interfering 
with religion, with the rights of home, with the rights of free 
speech, because the exercise of that power would shatter it to 
atoms. If I might make a very palpable illustration, I would 
say that the Nation is like a well-bound cask. Suppose a cask 
should take it into its head, reasoning perhaps as wisely as they 
sometimes do at Washington, that if it should burst its hoops it might 
become a hogshead ; it might increase its strength and dimensions. 
Why, if it should burst its hoops it would not even remain a barrel, it 
would be a mere bundle of staves. Now, when our General Govern- 
ment at Washington shall succeed in bursting these restraints upon 
its power, which are placed there for the purpose of its preservation, 
for the purpose of binding the Government together, so far will 
it be from true that they have strengthened the Government, the 
fact will be that they will have brought upon it weakness, discomfi- 
ture, dishonor, and disgrace. Let us see if these views are purely 


theoretical. Last winter I was called upon by a friend of very differ- 
ent opinions from myself — for I have friends on the other side, not- 
withstanding so much is said about my "friends" — concerning the 
draft, and he wanted to knowif I feared for the rights and existence 
of the States from its operation. I told him I had no such fears. I 
told him I should not fear for the States, but that I should tremble for 
the General Government itself; and I then tried to make him see that 
the attempted exercise of such powers on the part of the General 
Government, so far from arming it with greater strength, would prove 
perilous to it. I begged him to see and to tell those who sent 
him to see me, that the strength of government should be based upon 
the affection of the people. I begged him to tell them, that if they 
would make this Government strong and powerful, it was by address- 
ing themselves to the affections and regards of the whole American 

Not many months have rolled away since, in response to a call from 
the Government, the people of this country sent six hundred thou- 
sand men to fight the battles of the country. Why did they go? 
Was it because they were called by the voice of power? It was be- 
cause they were sent for to volunteer for the defence of the nation; 
and they came from school district, village, town, city, and State, until 
they swelled into the mightiest military array that the world has ever 
seen. Well, as a result of this voluntary action of the public, the 
Administration found itself in control of a mighty army, and for- 
getting from whence it derived its strength — that it was the power 
and strength of the people alone which they held — they were bewil- 
dered with the splendor of their position, and they declared that they 
would no longer live upon the charity of the community, and send 
around a contribution-box when they wanted men or money, but 
whenever men were wanted they would send officers to force the peo- 
ple into the ranks. I warned them of the result of that experiment. 
I implored them, for their own sakes, for the sake of the cause in 
which they had engaged, not to make the attempt. If I bad been 
influenced by personal or party considerations, I should not have said 
one word when they persisted in the way that was to lead them to 
discomfiture and disgrace. But I told them that, if they would pur- 
sue a policy that would appeal to the hearts of the people, there would 
be no limit to their strength ; but if they should attempt to subvert 
the whole policy of our Government, and should suppose that they 
were armed with power to compel a free people in any cause, they 
would not only endanger themselves, but endanger the Government. 
I humiliated myself before these men rather than I would see tbem 
enter the homes of your citizens with force. Against my most ear- 
nest prayer that this our glorious State should be saved from the igno- 
miny and disgrace, and be allowed to send forth her sons cheerfully 
and freely to the battle-field, the measure was adopted. I was told 
there was no time to wait for New York, though there was time to 
wait for New Jersey and Ohio and other States. I told them of our 
services. I told them, what was true, that New York was the only 
Atlantic State that had given more than its proportion of troops 
under the calls of the President. I implored in vain. The rash ex- 
periment was made. What was the result ? Why, you have seen 
that one year ago New York voluntarily gave one hundred and twenty 

BUFFALO, N. Y., OCTOBER 26, 1863. 165 

thousand of her sons to the service of her country, and yet under the 
draft, with the whole energy of the Government put forth, with armed 
men paraded through the State/with threats of legal proceedings and 
military force, you have seen carried away less than ten thousand 
men, more than half of whom were in truth volunteers, because they 
were bought with a price. 

Now that is the doctrine of consolidation carried into practical 
effect. Thus one method, by which our Government was to be made 
strong, has been tried. Is this strength or weakness ? Is it success 
or failure ? I implore you to look into this question yourselves. I 
do not complain of what may be said of myself ; that I have been 
misrepresented ; that I am charged with treason ; with almost all the 
offfnces to be found in the catalogue of crime. I have not one word 
to say in my own defence, but I do complain that citizens of this State 
who are our political opponents join in the calumnies against their 
own State, which has done so much to sustain the Government. 
Whenever I have asked for justice for the State — and I have only 
asked for justice —it has always led immediately to the charge that 
there was a desire to embarrass the General Government. As I have 
said, ours was the only Atlantic State which, on the first day of Jan- 
uary last, had sent to the war such numbers that it was entitled to 
credit for surplus. That was conceded at Washington. And it was 
conceded, too, that Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and every New Eng- 
land State, save the little State of Rhode Island, were behind. Since 
the first day of January last the State of New York has sent fifteen 
thousand men out of its limits to defend Pennsylvania. 

[The Seventh, Ward Democratic Club here entered the hall with an American flag, 
and a banner inscribed ' ; Union, Liberty, and the Laws ; " after which Governor Sey- 
mour continued:] 

When we were so agreeably interrupted by our friends from the 
Seventh Ward, I was speaking of the service of New York. New 
York is the only State in the Union that has given bounties to volun- 
teers from its State treasury, without regard to the question whether 
there was or was not to be a draft made. Since the adjournment of 
the Legislature I have been laboriously employed, with the whole of 
my staff, in the work of filling up the ranks of volunteers. Suddenly 
there came up a midnight cry from Washington for help. A proclama- 
tion was issued to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, calling for a hun- 
dred thousand men to rally immediately to save the Nation's capital. 
A friend of mine at Washington asked them why they did not call on 
New York. " Oh," they said, " New York has got a copperhead 
Governor ; he will do nothing." But New York was called on, and 
the result was that New York was about the only State that did any- 
thing in reinforcing the army already in the field. I do not speak of 
this because I claitn any merit. I did but my duty. When the 
President of the United States, the constitutional head of this Gov- 
ment, called upon me, as he had a right to call upon me under the 
Constitution, I responded, as it became my duty to do. Now I want 
to state, in justice to New York and in justice to the Administration, 
that while many Republican citizens of New York were traducing 
our own great State, I received a dispatch from the Secretary of War, 
thanking me for my prompt response, and begging that I would send 


on our troops at once, so as to stir up Pennslyvania and other States 
to come to the rescue. Read the history of the battle of Gettysburg 
— the record of that four days' fight, where the battle each day surged 
from side to side, so that it was not known until the very last moment 
which army were the victors — see how closely we battled there, and 
then what man dare say that the contributions that New York sent 
at that time did not strengthen the hearts of our army, and did not 
turn the tide of battle in favor of the old flag ? Since the first day of 
January last we have raised more than sixteen thousand volunteers. 
If you will add the number that we sent in response to the call for 
thirty days — and there are times when thirty days are more than as 
many years — there are times when men are sent into the battle-field 
at the very moment when their services could not be replaced by ten 
years' afterwork — if we add the number sent in response to that call, 
we have sent, since the first day of January, more than thirty-four 
thousand volunteers to the service of our country ; more than three 
times the number the coercive action of the Government produced ; 
more than has been sent by all the other Northern States of the 
Union put together. 

With these facts, with this generous support thus freely given to 
our Government, you hear charged day after day, that the Adminis- 
tration has been hindered by the State of New York. When it was 
shown how many men had gone from the State, the Republican papers 
of the State seemed to take the greatest pleasure in declaring that 
this was not so, and in stating that we had only sent three thousand 
volunteers, because, by some informality, they were not mentioned 
before they were mustered in, but 'while they were preparing to go. 
Does this not prove that injustice is being done to this State in the 
disparagement in which it is spoken of? Does it not also prove the 
great lesson of which I have spoken, that the Government, to he 
strong, must be founded in the affections of the people? 

They tell us the Constitution may be set aside ? By what right do 
you worship your God as your conscience dictates? By what 
right do you stand up here in the face of this community and say, 
although I stand alone, no man shall stand between me and my Maker 
as to the mode in which I shall worship him ? Why, it is written 
down in the great charter of your liberties. It is by that alone that 
you have all the evidence by which that right exists, and all the 
means by which that right can be enforced. By what right, when 
you go to your homes, however humble they may be, do you close 
the latch, saying, " This is my castle ? " It is only by the guarantee 
of the Constitution. What is it that makes sacred the relations be- 
tween you and your wife, and sister, and aged father and mother, that 
sit by your fireside ? We are told that men who talk of constitu- 
tions are traitors to their country ; we are told that the Constitution 
is no writ of protection against Abraham Lincoln as a general, al- 
though all-powerful against Abraham Lincoln as a president. I am 
not one of those who have a particular admiration for Abraham Lin- 
coln as President. I have sustained him freely and fully, frankly and 
fairly. I did not want him there, but I have infinitely more respect 
for him as a president than as a general. These doctrines are dan- 
gerous and revolutionary ; they strike at the existence of the Gov- 
ernment; they endanger your national liberties; they threaten to 

BUFFALO, K T., OCTOBER 28, 1863. 167 

shatter the very bonds of society itself. The Vice-President of the 
United States, in a speech within the limits of your own State, said, 
" There are some men who want the Union as it was, and the Con- 
stitution as it is. Well, they can't have them." We can't have a 
Constitution as it is ? 

This question is involved in the coming election. I ask you, when 
you have, by the edict of your votes, sustained a party that declares 
itself opposed to the Constitution, will you have left one-third of that 
fundamental law to protect you ? I defy any man to show when ever 
we have been untrue to the Constitution or untrue to our past. I 
defy any man to show that it is not true, that we on our part have 
been in favor of exerting every material and every moral power, and 
every exertion of statesmanship, to bring this war to a successful con- 
clusion ; and on the other hand that we have refrained from placing 
those obstacles in the way of that result, which are placed there by 
the theorists who propose to make it no longer a war for the Consti- 
tution, but a war for the extermination of slavery, and for the crush- 
ing out of the rights of the States, for the lessening of the jurisdiction 
of the Constitution, and the widening of that of the Administration. 
These things are involved in the election that is about to take place. 
As I said in the outset, they concern each man in his liberty, in his 
conduct, in his home. 

I have alluded to the wrongs done our State. I have not alluded 
to the wrongs done myself, nor shall I do so. For I tell you here, 
and in saying these things I know I speak for every true lover of the 
country, however unjust our political opponents may be to us, how- 
ever much they may traduce our character, however much they may 
threaten, we shall never be turned aside one hair's-breadth from the 
faithful and full performance of our duty. We shall not be prevented 
from doing our whole duty to this Administration, in all respects, 
where they have a right to call upon us ; nor, on the other hand, will 
we be driven to do a wrong to our own rights by the full exercise of 
this power. We will do our duty, and we will demand our rights. 
We will battle on faithfully and hopefully for our country ; for, let 
me tell you this, and I say that which I believe in my inmost heart, 
that, dark as the clouds are which hang over our country, mistaken 
as has been the policy of our rulers, unfortunate as has been their 
conduct, I tell you, notwithstanding, that I feel in my own heart 
assured that our Union shall live, that our Constitution shall be pre- 
served, and that peace will again dawn upon our land. I believe 
that the very experiments our political opponents are making will be 
attended with good. Up to this time we only know that we had 
prospered marvellously under the system of government which our 
fathers adopted ; but there have been those who maintained that we 
should have been still more successful under a more centralized 
government. By the experiments now making the question will be 
set at rest, and no man will again advocate centralization. So I am 
still full of confidence. I hope, in the language of another, for the 
time when the war shall be passed by, and that there will be upon 
the flag of our country every star that glitters there, and in the 
bounds of our confederacy a state for every star. I hope, before 
many months have rolled away, that all will agree that those men are 
traitors who would tear asunder the flag of our country, or who 


would wipe out from the azure field a single star that glitters there, 
and that all men will unite in restoring the States to all their original 
splendor, to all their glory, to all their greatness, and to all then- 
united strength. 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting at Syracuse, 
N. Y., Oct. 28, 1863. 

Republican Opinions of the Speaker — He ignores Personal Assaults — Review 
of the previous Tear — Call for more Troops — Our Armies on the Defensive 
— The Issue pending in the New York Election — More than great Armies 
requisite for Success in War — The attainable Ends only should be sought 
— New Issues condemned— Military Necessities considered — Personal 
Liberty and Constitutional Rights — Value of the Constitution — Denies 
that he has ever hindered or embarrassed the National Administration — 
Aid sent to the General Government by New York under his Adminis- 
tration as Governor — His Policy in the Draft Controversy — Justice 
demanded — How to make a strong Government — The new Call for 

Fellow-Citizens : — A short time since, the President of the United 
States, when addressing a political assemblage, said he knew of 
nothing in the Constitution that forbade him from speaking to his 
fellow-citizens because he was President of the United States. At a 
later day, too, the Vice-President of the United States addressed a 
meeting in the city of New York, and he did not deem it necessary 
to state even whether or not he considered it his constitutional right 
or duty, but treated the subject with contempt. Now to-day, fellow- 
citizens, I stand before you, feeling that there is no constitutional op- 
position to my addressing you, but feeling, on the other hand, that 
there is a great constitutional duty incumbent upon me to appear 
before my fellow-citizens in different parts of the State, and speak of 
the great questions of the day. 

Oue year ago I spoke to you of the issues which then pressed upon 
us, and I ask you to listen to me now, if I can make myself heard in 
this vast assemblage, while I attempt to recite to you what has taken 
place since I stood before you then. If I am honored to-day with 
the presence of any Republican who believes what the Republican 
papers say, I am a man whose hand is stained with blood ; I am a 
man with a black and bloody heart ; I am a man whose garments smell 
of arson, of the smoke of buildings burned; I am a man with a mind 
so depraved that I wish ill to the country, and to the great and 
glorious State to which I am under deep and lasting obligations. But, 
my friends, I shall not suffer myself, before an audience of Onondaga 
County, the county of my birth, to defend my purposes or my char- 
acter. I listened with pride to the great array of the officers of this 
meeting. My heart bounded with joy when I found that there were 
those who had differed with us heretofore who were willing to come 
up and act with us now, who had yielded to the power of truth. 

SYRACUSE, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1863. 169 

And no man acts a greater part", no man shows greater patriotism or 
truer dignity of character than when he accepts great truths, and 
enters upon the pathway of duty fearlessly and conscientiously. Now, 
my friends, I am deeply sensible of the good opinion of my fellow- 
men, and under ordinary circumstances I might repel the assaults 
which have been made upon me ; but, so far from desiring, here, in 
words of anger and reproach, to defend myself, I stand before you a 
man whose mind and whose heart is saddened with the contempla- 
tion of the calamities which have been brought upon this our great 
and happy land. 

Now, my Republican friends — if I have one within the sound of my 
voice — I pray you to listen to me. I ask but' this in return for the 
injury that has been done me ; — listen to me earnestly, while I make 
one appeal for the liberties of the land and for the prosperity of our 
great and glorious country. If you had been with me during the last 
ten months in the executive chamber, where, from early morning to 
late at night, I have toiled on patiently and laboriously for the pur- 
pose of upholding the Government of our land, although in the hands 
of men with whom I differ; if you could have sat at my table and read, 
as I have read, day after day, the lists of who are falling in the battles 
of our country, where I have issued no less than six thousand com- 
missions to those who have stepped forward to take the vacancies 
caused by the sad incidents of war, you would feel, as I now feel, but 
one single sentiment — an earnest, heart-felt desire, under circumstances 
like these, to do what is right, and follow truthfully the paths of duty. 

Now, I propose to inquire what has taken place since I stood here 
one year ago ? What were the circumstances of our country then ? 
At that moment the people of the United States had given, volunta- 
rily, under the calls of our Government, six hundred thousand men 
to swell the ranks of our armies. Before that time our political oppo- 
nents, through their journals and speakers, had said that the Admin- 
istration had failed in the conduct of the war. Therefore it was 
that, at the last November election, when you did me the honor to 
place me in the gubernatorial chair, you decided that they had failed in 
meeting the just expectations of the American people. You gave 
them 600,000more — 600,000 livingmen — somebody's sons, somebody's 
brothers, somebody's husbands. They went from the homes of our 
land ; they constituted the wealth and power of the nation. Where 
are they? What has been done? Is our country saved ? Is the 
war terminated ? To-day, when we ought to rejoice at the full com- 
pletion of our heart's desire, we are met, not by assurances that 
peace is restored to our land, not by the fact that the rebellon is put 
down. No, my friends, we are met by another call for 600,000 men ! 
This moment everywhere our armies are on the defensive. The 
question to-day is not, "What are we doing? "but "What are the 
enemy doing?" The question is not, "Where do our generals 
attack ? " but, " Where are we threatened ? " Look at the Potomac. 
Look at the Cumberland and Tennessee. Notwithstanding the vast 
contributions of blood, and men, and treasure, to-day we are called 
upon to furnish 600,000 more, including the number embraced under 
the conscription act ; and you, the people of New York, to-day are 
called upon to furnish 108,000 men before the 5th of January next. 

Now there are some things about which there is no difference of 


opinion among candid men of all parties. It is agreed that there is 
a limit in the expenditure of money, when the nation must be 
whelmed in National bankruptcy ; and that there is a limit to the 
prosecution of the war, when the nation will go to ruin. Every day's 
expenditure of life and money brings us nearer to these calamities. 
We agree that the war must be brought to the speediest possible 
honorable conclusion. Now, which of the two parties asking your 
support is the one most likely to reach this result before we reach 
National bankruptcy, ruin, and disgrace ? Let the past go. We will 
leave it to the judgment of the future to say who has been right and 
who has been wrong. Let us now confront the duties of the hour 
boldly and patriotically. We are to decide by our votes what 
shall be the future policy of the Government, for I tell you the voice 
of New York will be potential in the end. If the people of this 
State shall decide in favor of the radical policy, which is to prolong the 
war for indefinite issues, we are lost forever. On the contrary, if the 
people of this State decide in favor of a policy which can be reached, 
and which will bring the war to a successful conclusion, there is yet 
a glorious future for our land. Where do the parties differ ? The 
Republicans say, " We want to put forth all the material powers of 
our land to bring the war to a close." We say so too. We are upon 
the brink of a cataract, without time to inquire into the past ; we 
must put forth every material power to secure success to our cause. • 
But we say more than that ; we say that we will add to the power 
of force the influences of wise statemanship, of conciliation, of Chris- 
tian charity, of patriotic purpose. Are we less energetic or less 
patriotic because we say we will do more than they ? We believe 
that, strong as armies are, there are other influences that should be 
brought to bear to save the country in the hour of peril. In every ' 
contest of life, that man is most likely to succeed who attempts to 
gain an end within his reach, not the man who labors for things which 
are vague, indefinite, and impossible. One party proposes to make 
this a war for an object upon which all men are agreed. One year ago 
the proclamation of emancipation had not been issued ; the harsh 
legislation that proposes to trample out the rights of States had not 
been proposed. We say what Congress said by a unanimous vote, 
what all men said eighteen months ago, let this be a contest to restore 
our Union, to uphold the Constitution, to make us what we were — 
the most prosperous and powerful nation on the face of the earth. 
Those who control affairs have made new issues. One year ago we 
were a people united in purpose ; to-day we are distracted and para- 
lyzed. Why ? To-day the South, which was then ready to fall to 
pieces, is united, and apparently as strong as ever. Why ? That 
party most endangers the public welfare which not only refuses to 
use every influence that can be brought to bear, but opposes obstacles 
in the way of a successful completion of the contest in which we are 
engaged. The man who, not content with restoring the Union and 
upholding the Constitution, adds further objects more difficult of 
attainment, hinders the success of the war. I appeal to you, men of 
Onondaga, men of central New York, if they are not making suc- 
cess more difficult, more unattainable ; if in any event they are not 
postponing the end, until you are brought nearer and nearer those 
calamities which lie straight in our pathway — National bankruptcy 

SYRACUSE, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1863. 171 

and National ruin. They say we must fight until slavery is extin- 
guished ; that we must fight until the States shall assume new rela- 
tionships to the Federal Government ; until it hecomes revolutionary 
in its aspects and influences. We are to unsettle what eighty years 
of experience had settled ; we are to upturn the foundations of our 
Constitution. At this veiy moment, when the fate of the Nation 
and of individuals trembles in the balance, these madmen ask us to 
plunge into a bottomless pit of controversy upon indefinite purposes. 
Does not every man know that we must have a united North to tri- 
umph ? Can we get a united North upon a theory that proposes to 
centralize the power of the General Government upon propositions 
that you shall not have the right and liberty of protecting your own 
person; that the Constitution can be set aside at the will of one man, 
because, forsooth, he judges it to be a military necessity? I never 
heard yet that Abraham Lincoln was a military necessity. If mili- 
tary necessities are to govern, let us at least be consistent and ask 
that military men shall judge what these necessities are ; men who 
can marshal armies in the field and fight great battles. The very 
proposition disfranchises you. If you assent to it, you men of cen- 
tral New York, give up your constitutional right to your own judg- 
ment. Recollect, my Republican friends, that you are laying down 
laws, not for us alone, but for* yourselves. The administration of 
government may change. Are you willing that we should be the 
despots, and tread upon your rights by virtue of the principles you 
are upholding in folly and madness ? Can it be that the American 
people, after eighty years of liberty, will so easily throw away their 
rights under such a plea ? The Vice-President of the United States 
says, "There are men in your midst who want the Union as it was 
and the Constitution as it is," and he adds, sneeringly, "They can't 
have it." We tell him, too, there are such men and many of them ; 
and we say to him we will have it. What gives the power to a man 
of New England, a creature of the popular making, to say to you 
that you cannot have your constitutional rights ? that you cannot 
have the Constitution as it is. There has never been a sentiment in 
the North or South put forth more treasonable, cowardly, and base 
than this. One of them says : " We will wipe out ten stars from 
the National flag ; ten States shall go out of existence ! " If you can 
wipe out the rights of the States, where are the rights of individuals ? 
For what are Governments constituted? Not in order that they 
may gain wide-spread dominion ; not that they may achieve splendid 
triumphs. It is for purposes more sacred than all these. The great- 
est and highest objects of good government are that each man shall 
be free in the enjoyment of personal liberty; each home shall be 
sacred from intrusion ; each conscience shall be free to worship God 
according to its own dictates ; each mind shall be free to exercise^ its 
own God-given functions. The proudest Government that exists 
upon the face of the earth is that of Great Britain, and its proudest 
statesman, when he would tell of Britain's crowning glory, did not 
speak of its wide-spread dominions upon which the sun never sets, 
did not say. as he might have done, that the beat of its morning 
drum made a continuous strain of music round the world. He did 
not speak of martial achievements, of glorious battle-fields, and of 
splendid naval conflicts ; but he said, with swelling breast and kind- 


ling eye, that the poorest man of Great Britain,in His cottage, might bid 
defiance to all the forces of the crown. It might be frail ; its roof might 
shake; the wind might blow through it ; the storm might enter ; the 
rain might enter ; but the King of England could not enter it. All his 
powers did not dare cross the threshold of that ruined tenement. I see 
before me persons in different conditions of life — some rich, some poor. 
You will go to houses unlike in many respects ; one may be embellished 
by all that art can bestow or a lavished expenditure of wealth procure ; 
the other only precious by the love that meets you there, by all the 
cherished relationships of life. What is it that makes the American 
home glorious beyond the castles of other portions of the world ? It 
heretofore has been this — that when you have let down the lock into 
its latchet, and have drawn yourselves by your firesides ; have assem- 
bled around you those whom you love, you will look about you and 
say, this is my castle ; no man can enter here unbidden. It was con- 
stitutional rights that made your home glorious, until you were? called 
upon by men in power to say that this Constitution which protected 
you might be trampled upon under the plea of military necessity, 
when war did not even exist in this great State of ours. What is 
this Constitution of which men speak so idly ? Study it and find 
what it means, you men of Germany, you of Ireland, you of Eng- 
land, or any other European country. We know what a written 
Constitution means, though we may have forgotten its value, who 
had it written down as a deed given to us more precious than the 
deeds of our homes — and they are nothing without the Constitution 
which says that your property shall not be torn away from you with- 
out compensation and without process of law. It was a deed that made 
your homes valuable and sacred to you. It said that no man shall 
seize your person except by due process of law ; it gave you the 
right to worship your God in such way as you pleased ; it said that 
you should not be imprisoned without the protection afforded to the 
innocent thus imprisoned, by the writ of habeas corpus. You will 
find that the Constitution attaches itself to everything that you value 
in life. Yet we are called upon in the State of New York, hundreds 
of miles from the seat of war, the people of which have ever been 
loyal — a State whose whole history is glorious — we are called upon by 
our votes to say that we will allow. the institutions built up by our 
fathers, and cemented by their blood, to be modified and destroyed 
by men carried away with the madness of passion, prejudice, and 
bigotry. Will you by your votes confirm these things ? If the 
American people are prepared to look approvingly upon these as- 
saults on their liberties, they do not deserve to be free, and will not 
be free. 

While I have filled the office of Governor, I have never hindered 
or embarrassed the Administration. Wherever it had a constitu- 
tional right to act,- whether I differed or not as to the policy of 
certain acts, I yielded to that constitutional obligation. Since the 
first day of January New York has sent 16,000 volunteers ; and it 
is, I believe, the only State that has continued volunteering without 
regard to the draft. There came a cry for help for Pennsylvania, and 
though they hesitated to call upon the " Copperhead Governor," they 
did finally, and the result was, no other State sent any help except 
the little adjoining State of New Jersey. 

SYRACUSE, N. Y., OCTOBER 28, 1863. 173 

It was no credit to me ; I did merely my duty ; but it gives me 
pride that there were men in New York ready to spring to their arms 
at the call, and to them let the honor be given. I am willing that 
men should shout for glorious old Massachusetts; but I want to hear 
a word now and then for still more glorious New York. I do not 
claim any partisan merit in the matter of New York's noble responses 
to the calls of the Government. The Legislature was about equally 
divided between Republicans and Democrats. We had one advan- 
tage ; we lost some strength and gained a great deal of character. 
When they bought over Mr. Caiicott the Senate was theirs, the Gov- 
ernor was ours. It was ouV joint action. I am proud to say it belonged 
to the whole of New York. Yet there seems to be reluctance to 
acknowledge it. It is not merely that injustice is done to us. Why, 
Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts, who was invited to address you here, 
boasted in Maine, that New York had been dragged at the wheels 
of the chariot of Abraham Lincoln. 

When I came to the Governor's chair I attempted to find out how 
New York stood, in the ledger of the nation — that terrible account, 
where they write down the numbers of those who have perchance 
been doomed to death. Now to this day neither I nor my predecessor, 
who differed from me in political views, could ever get a fair state- 
ment of our account. They admitted that up to the first day of Jan- 
uary New York was entitled to a credit for a surplus of men. When 
the call was made under the draft I discovered great irregularities. 
I found great differences in congressional districts. I wanted it made 
right. I appeal to every man, without regard to political sentiment, 
if this great lottery of life should not be at least graced with fairness 
and equity. In no transaction in life do you permit men to make up 
accounts in the dark, and tell you it is a fair account. They might 
have done, as has always been done when a census has been taken, 
leave the list open to the community at the post-office, or other public 
place, so that the people could see that it was fair and correct. They 
might have done this with the enrolment lists. Why not let us know 
what names are put in the books ? It could have done no harm, and 
might have added greatly to the correctness and completeness of the 
lists. Ought not the public to be assured that every name was there ? 
When the drawing was made, should there not have been some method 
of allowing the people to convince themselves that all was fair ? I wrote 
a letter to President Lincoln. They said I was embarrassing the 
Government. Why should Government be embarrassed by a sug- 
gestion of that course which every honest man says is right and just? 
They said my letters were of a character to excite discontent among 
the people. Why then did they publish them ? I never did. And they 
wanted to get them before the public so quick that they sent them 
by telegraph instead of letter. But this is a question between States 
as well as counties. They never told us how many men they called 
for from Massachusetts — "glorious old Massachusetts," you know. 
You remember how the people worked in all the towns to fill up their 
quotas. It is conceded beyond dispute that Massachusetts was defi- 
cient 6,000, which would be equal to 20,000 for New York. All the 
New England States were deficient except Rhode Island. I could, 
not find out how many men were called for under the draft from the 
New England States. New York was entitled to a credit from a 
previous call, and yet the number called for was something over 


2,200 for a congressional district. I accidentally found a message of 
the Governor of Vermont, and found that the quota of that State 
was something over four thousand under the same call. 

There is a single congressional district in the eastern part of this 
State that had to raise over five thousand. There are two others 
that contributed each about four thousand seven hundred. Vermont 
has three congressmen and a population of three hundred and ten 
thousand. Then I gained, through other sources, other information 
perfectly reliable, and I find that our New England friends have been 
called on, on an average, for about 1,700 men for a congressional dis- 
trict, while New York has been called upon for an average of 2,200 
for a congressional district. We with a credit which we thought 
was to be counted for something, and they with a deficiency. If I 
attempt to have right done they say I am hindering the Government. 
I do not see how we hindered the Government by raising more vol- 
unteers than any New England State, at least, and in rescuing Pennsyl- 
vania. But in the accomplishment of this injustice which I have 
just explained to you, I intend to embarrass the Government, and I will 
before I am through with it ! 

Again, six hundred thousand men are called for — sons, brothers, 
husbands— six hundred thousand homes to be entered. The young 
man will be compelled to give up the corner-stone of his fortune, 
which he has laid away with toil and care, to begin the race of life. 
The old man will pay out that which he has saved, as the support of 
his declining years, to rescue his son. In God's name, let these opera- 
tions be fair if they must be cruel. I have asked for nothing but 
what is just. 

When they asked me if I feared for the strength of the States on 
account of the draft, I told them no ; but I trembled for the Gen- 
eral Government. I want the Government made strong. Our fathers 
asserted that if you would make the Government strong, you must 
make it beneficent ; you must make the hearts of the people the 
foundations upon which it must stand. Therefore they restrained the 
Government from having jurisdiction over subjects in which they 
might do wrong, or become unpopular. These restraints are the 
strength of the Government. If the barrel bursts its hoops, it does 
not become a hogshead; it becomes a mere bundle of staves. 

This Administration has attempted to break loose from these re- 
straints and establish a central power in the General Government. 
The draft has been the first great attempt to exercise this power, 
and it has miserably failed. Instead of strengthening the Govern- 
ment, it has immeasurably weakened it. I do not fear for the States, 
but for the Federal Government. The great State of New York 
can maintain her rights when the little men who insult her are passed 
away and forgotten. You remember how gloriously the State re- 
sponded to the call for volunteers. Our rulers, when they saw the 
mighty armies they had marshalled, thought it had been done by 
their own power instead of by the spontaneous patriotism of the 
people. They said, we will pass around the hat no more when we 
want men or money, but we will pass a law and send out force, so 
that when we want men we will take them out of the houses of the 
nation by compulsion. 

New York of itself sent out one hundred and twenty thousand 

SYRACUSE, N. T., OCTOBER 28, 1863. 175 

volunteers. Now, look at the result of the draft for sixty-eight 
thousand men. They give you credit under that draft for twenty-one 
thousand men. How is this twenty-one thousand made up? Well, 
you are valued as being worth about three hundred dollars apiece, 
and of these twenty-one thousand men which have been rendered, 
twelve or thirteen thousand are three hundred dollar bills — not men 
of muscle and sinews ready to do service ; and that act has not sent 
out from this State eight thousand men. I do not believe it has sent 
more than six thousand, and more than half of these are substitutes, 
which is another name for volunteers. So much for the centraliza- 
tion policy. 

My reputation, you know, is bad enough. I have never defended 
myself. I have never even published the letters of the President and 
Secretary of "War thanking me for what was done, until within a few 
days past it became necessary for me to do it to show what New 
York had done. What is it to me what men may say of my conduct 
in view of questions like these, while the destiny of a nation is at 
stake ? In a few short years we shall be weighed in the opinion of 
Him who governs the world, and whose judgment is just and final; 
and what care I for men ? I have never put forth a word in my own 
defence. With me life is nothing, and character is nothing, if I may 
do my duty in assisting to save this land from the perils that sur- 
round it. 

Do our friends at Washington — for I have friends at Washington ; 
for I have friends on both sides of the house, and the character of one 
is as good as that of the other — now ask us to raise our quota under 
the new call in the same manner as we implored them to do it before 
the draft ? No ; but they must humiliate us at the wheel of the 
presidential car. Now we are called upon for 108,000 men. It was 
given out in some quarters that our quota would be 38,000. I sent 
to Washington and learned that it is 108,000. We shall do our duty 
as we have done it heretofore. The charge is made that we are untrue 
to our country. Here, in your name, and in behalf of the Democratic 
party, I repel it as a foul imputation upon the patriotism of New 
York ; as a foul libel upon what she has done ; as a most unjust and 
ungenerous aspersion to be put forth by our fellow-men, who know 
that in every day's transactions we are as true as they are to all that 
is demanded by duty or patriotism. 

Once more we say, what they do not say in their meetings, that we 
dedicate ourselves and all that we have, to the restoration of the 
Union and preservation of the Constitution. You are to decide the 
most momentous questions ever submitted to a people — questions that 
come home to each man of you in all the relationships of life. The 
mighty debt that is being rolled up is an encumbrance upon your prop- 
erty, and now equals one-fourth of the value of the whole property of 
the country. So far as it is necessary to spend for proper purposes, let 
it be poured forth ; but if it is to gratify the theories of fanatics 
and bigoted men, we should express our disapproval of those theories 
that are mortgaging our lands. We are willing to sustain them in 
all constitutional purposes ; we dedicate ourselves and all we have to 
the preservation of our country; but when they ask of us sacrifices 
for the purpose of trampling down the Constitution and destroying 
the great principles of liberty, then we must, at least, have the poor 


privilege of raising our voices in terras of expostulation against a 
policy so fatal and ruinous. 

We love that flag (pointing to the stars and stripes), with the 
whole love of our lite; and every star that glitters on its blue field 
is sacred. And let me conclude with the sentiment of a citizen of 
another State, declaring that we will preserve the Constitution, we 
will preserve the Union, we will preserve our flag with every star 
that glitters upon it, and we will see to it that there is a State for 
every star. 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting held at Utica, 
New York, Oct. 29, 1863. 

The Calls for Troops — Discouraging Aspects of the Campaign — The Na- 
tion drifting toward Bankruptcy and Ruin — The true Patriotic Rem- 
edy — Republican and Democratic Loyalty Compared — The Policy of 
Conciliation and the Policy of Force Contrasted — Disastrous Conse- 
quences resulting from new Issues — Marvellous results of the Con- 
scription — Its Unequal Effects — Efforts to avert it— Its Unequal Appor- 
tionment — Production of Drafting — Appeal for Volunteers to fill the 
State's Quota. 

Fellow-Citizens : — I come before you this night, because I think 
I have some things to say to you that concern you all, not alone in 
that broad and general sense with regard to which our distinguished 
friend has spoken so eloquently, that concern us as a people, but that 
concern our homes, concern us as individuals, concern women as well 
as men, that go to our very hearth-stones, and affect us in all the dear- 
est interests of life. If I am honored to-night with the presence of 
one of myEepublican friends, I beg that he will listen to me- I do 
not stand here to-night before my fellow-citizens of Utica to defend 
myself against unjust and ungenerous aspersions. So far as my own 
character is concerned, violently as it has been assailed, I leave it to 
you, as the witnesses, to determine upon it, and do not need to let it 
depend upon what I shall say in behalf of myself. 

We have been engaged in a war now nearly three years. The 
American people have sent forth to serve the Government, or are 
called to send forth, thirteen hundred thousand men. What has 
become of them ! There are half a million of new-made graves in 
the land, and the county of Oneida and the city of Utica have their 
sad and solemn representatives in those funereal abodes. 

You are called upon now to give your quota of six hundred thou- 
sand more. Now, after our country already in this contest has re- 
sponded to so many calls of the Government ; after the people have 
given up from their homes their fathers, brothers, husbands, sons; in 
view of the vast sacrifices the nation has made of life and blood and 
treasure ; — I ask you if we should not at a time like this come together 
in an earnest and patriotic spirit to determine what can be done to 
save our country. What can be done to stop this vast waste of life, 

UTICA, N. Y., OCTOBER 29, 1863. 177 

and treasure, and all that we hold dear ? I said that calls are made 
now for six hundred thousand more men. We were told at the 
outset of this contest that seventy-five thousand men were sufficient, 
and then calls were made for three hundred thousand, and yet again 
for three hundred thousand. They have gone on until at this time 
the demands made by our Government amount to thirteen hundred 
and seventy-five thousand men. Where are they ? I have learned from 
the experience of the office which I now hold, and from the inquiries 
that I have made of others who have had perhaps a better opportunity 
to learn the facts than myself, that in the course of twelve months 
one-half of them are wasted away. If one year ago the armies of 
the United States numbered seven hundred thousand men, then it is 
now made perfectly clear by the experience of the year, by a critical 
scrutiny of the results, that they have wasted away in the average 
of one thousand men per day; so that now the vast array that was 
then marshalled of seven hundred thousand men, is now reduced to 
less than three hundred and fifty thousand. We have thus 
ascertained that each band of men that we send out wastes 
away in the ratio of one-half in the course of twelve months. 
Now, if these six hundred thousand more men, which are called 
for, should be sent into the field, even if this war should be 
brought to an end in twelve months, in that time three hundred 
thousand of these will not be found in the ranks of our armies. I do 
not say that they will fall upon the battle-field, though you know, 
alas ! that many of them will pour out their blood there. I do not 
say that all will sicken and die in the hospitals, far away from friends 
and the endearments of home, though you know that many of them 
will come to this sad fate. Many will returti to their homes again, 
some with disease fastened upon them which will affect them during 
the painful course of their lives ; some with the loss of limbs or phys- 
ical disfigurement that will render them unable to pursue the ordi- 
nary avocations to which they have been accustomed; some will re- 
turn, perchance, in the full enjoyment of bodily health; but this will 
be the result of another year of war. 

I doubt, as I have said, if there are now three hundred thousand 
men in our armies who are able to take the field in order to carry on 
the battles of our nation. In every quarter we are on the defensive. 
We tremble for the fate ofthe Army of the Cumberland. The Army 
of the Potomac to-day advances and to-morrow retreats, and we 
look to its movements with the most painful solicitude. Look along 
the whole margin of the war, along the line that divides the North 
and South, along the whole course of the Mississippi, and we are 
merely holding our own ground or attempting to regain that which we 
have once held, except in the single instance of the siege of Charles- 
ton, where we are attempting by our navy to batter down a place- 
particularly offensive to the public mind, but where there is no at- 
tempt made to take permanent military possession, and where the- 
armies of our generals would not dare to land, because of the fear of 
being overwhelmed by superior force. Therefore it is, that the Pres- 
ident of the United States, a few days since, came out with a pro- 
clamation for three hundred thousand men, and that, too, while act- 
ing under the conscription law, he had already made a demand upon 
this people for more than three hundred thousand. This shows th& 



critical condition in which we stand to-daj as a people. As I have 
said, you see the wasting consequences of the war. No man can 
fail to see, however blinded by prejudice or infatuated by passion, that 
this crrnnot go on indefinitely without ruining us as a nation, and carry- 
ing misery, and desolation, and death to our homes. Every day brings 
its nearer to this result, and nearer to the condition where all men 
agree that we must be plunged in bankruptcy if we reach it. All men 
agree that straight in our pathway are these two great calamities, to 
which we are moving steadily and swiftly. We are like a man who 
floats down Niagara river above its great cataract. He may be to- 
day at a safe distance, but if he floats idly on and allows the time to 
pass by when he can reach the margin in safety, he will find himself 
at last in sight of that mighty cataract whose name is famous 
through the world, and within the swift vortex of its waters, which 
will whelm him in utter destruction. So with our nation ; unless we put 
forth every exertion, not only of material power but of wise state- 
manship, of Christian consideration, of patriotic sacrifice of passion 
and prejudice, we too shall find, alas ! too late, that the period is past 
when we can rescue ourselves from the dangers that lie in our course. 

Then what are we to do ? That is the problem that we must 
meet. I am willing for the time being to overlook the past. I will 
leave out of view the wrong that has been done to you and me in the 
impeachment of our motives. I will leave out of view the lack of 
wisdom, and patriotism, and Christian charity, which plunged us into 
this war, which never would or could have occurred if we had been 
true to ourselves and our country. I leave out of view all the inva- 
sions of home, the trampling upon the laws and the Constitution ; let 
the curtain fall over the past, and leave it to the future to sit in 
judgment over its shortcomings. But now, in this extreme hour of 
our country's peril, let us confront the difficulties that lie in our way; 
let us counsel as patriots, and see how we can save our country, our 
homes, our National honor. 

I have attempted to show you where we are. There is but one 
proposition left : how are we to bring this war to a successful and 
honorable conclusion, before we are swept into National ruin ? We 
agree with others that we will put forth every material power to save 
our country. We say'to our Republican friends, " We will go with 
you in every effort which it becomes a people situated as we are to 
make. We recognize the necessity of our position, and so far agree 
with you." Now, here comes a point of disagreement. Our friends 
on the other side of the house say that we are not as true as they are 
to the country, and have not as much at heart its welfare and honor. 
They say that they will do no more than this— that force, and force 
alone, shall be used for the purpose of restoring our Union. They 
tell you, in the language of the Senator from Massachusetts, who 
stood upon these boards a few days since : " We demand subjuga- 
tion ; yes, that is the word — subjugation ! " It is not the restoration 
of the Constitution that they desire. 

Five or six weeks ago, when we had achieved signal victories, we 
asked the President to do that which every dictate of magnanimity, 
generosity, and true patriotism, called upon him to do. He did not 
heed the request or warnings, and the war was allowed to go on, 
until now the aspect of public affairs is materially changed. " Why 

TJTICA, N. T., OCTOBEE 29, 1863. 179 

did they not consent to try the policy of conciliation ? It was be- 
cause, as they declare in words, and still more plainly in their acts, 
that their object is not alone the restoration of the Constitution and 
Union. We are doing more than our Republican friends. We are 
giving every effort of material force, and we are adding our influence 
to induce the people of the South to return' to the Union ; we are 
exerting more than mere material force. No man rates higher than 
I do the services of our armies in the field ; no man has more un- 
doubted faith in their courage and patriotism ; no man is impressed 
more than I am with the magnificence of war, of its martial array, 
and its terrible engines of strength. But strong as it is, powerful as 
it is in all its aspects, I tell you, my friends, that there is something 
more powerful than ordnance ; there are influences higher, broader, 
and more glorious than have ever yet been found upon the battle- 
field ; and that is, the great and magnanimous spirit that seeks to 
restore our country to its former glory, to its former union, by the 
exercise of statesmanship, conciliation, and charity. He who says 
that force, and force alone, is the most potential agency to be used 
in this war, does not know those influences which control nations as 
well as individuals. 

But we differ from them in another matter. That party which in- 
terposes any obstacle to the successful termination of this war, is, in fact, 
as injurious in his acts as he who would withhold any strength in its prose- 
cution. We complain that those who have the administration of affairs in 
their hands have interposed obstacles in the way of the conclusion of the 
war, by adding to its original objects purposes which are utterly unattain- 
able. In every contestthatman is the most likely to succeed, who propos- 
es for himself that which is attainable, that which is right. Every 
man knows that when this war was conducted for a purpose in which 
all concurred, we had a united North, and we had as our enemies a 
divided South. Every man knows that at that time, throughout the 
length and breadth of the seceded rebellious States, there were hun- 
dreds and thousands of hearts that yet beat true to the flag of our 
country, and the principles of our Constitution. We were then more 
powerful than now, for these very reasons. The Government had 
not only declared by the presidential declaration, but by the unani- 
mous vote of Congress, that this war was to be waged alone to re- 
assert the Constitution. Under this solemn pledge all men were 
united in carrying on the contest. All gave their contributions of 
men and money, and for a time the voice of party seemed to be hush- 
ed. But the Republican party proclaimed emancipation, confiscation, 
and the destruction of the States, and the purposes of the war changed. 
They grew haughty with the power the nation had given them. Then 
they said, by their actions, as in terms it was expressed to me, that 
they did not intend hereafter to ask for the contributions of the peo- 
ple, to pass around the hat when they wanted men or money; they 
had the power to take them by force. I warned them against this 
course. If I had been a partisan I would have held my peace ; if I 
had desired a party triumph I would have uttered no word of expos- 
tulation. But 1 thought I saw then what all see now, that such ac- 
tion was not going to endanger so much the rights of the States as it 
would endanger the power and dignity of the Federal Government. 
I urged, and urged in vain, that we might be allowed to send up our 


contributions voluntarily ; I tried to show them the difficulty of forcing 
people to do that which they were reluctant to do. This reluctance 
was no party question. It is a remarkable fact that men under forty- 
five and over twenty suddenly experienced very bad health, and be- 
came afflicted with all the ills that flesh is heir to, while people over 
forty-five and under twenty continued in their physical condition. 
And I find that the Republicans are as ingenious in finding their bod- 
ily ailments as other people. Your land swarms with official provost- 
marshals, deputy-marshals and enrolling officers. The army was sent 
for, force was threatened in response to the least opposition, laws 
were passed inflicting heavy penalties upon any one who should resist 
the draft. Yet what has been the result ? Up to this time the draft 
has not sent eight thousand men from this State to fill the ranks of 
our armies, and in the meanwhile the State of New York, by carry- 
ing on volunteering, since the first day of January last, has enlisted 
more than sixteen thousand men. Now I ask, was the draft a suc- 
cess or a failure ? Dp the facts show strengtb or weakness ? Was 
that wisdom that said we will make ourselves strong by grasping 
jurisdiction, and not exercise that power which would be an advan- 
tage to themselves and an honor to their country ? But there are 
some that say the Government got a great deal of money by the 
draft. Well, the Government can make money easily enough as long 
as it has paper and printing-presses. But the Government has the 
power to draw a vast deal of money from the people by taxation, as 
they will soon learn to their cost. But it is material to the interests 
of the country how this money is taken. Let it be just and equal up- 
on all classes. Was there no wrong done when they entered a young 
man's house and took from him the first three hundred dollars which 
he was ever able to earn ? which was laid up to be the foundation of 
a future fortune, the beginning of a future estate ! We know how 
hard it is in the affairs of life to make the first little accumulation of 
money, and beyond that the task becomes comparatively easy. The 
Government laid its hand unequally and heavily upon the poorer 
classes. Perhaps there was another man who, through a long life of 
toil, had laid aside a pittance for old age, and the last dollar was tak- 
en from him to secure the freedom of his son, whose presence was 
necessary to his comfort and his happiness. The rich man put his hand 
in his pocket and paid the money easily and carelessly. Was that a 
success which wrung money unequally from the rich and the poor ? If 
we must have taxation, let it come ; but in God's name let it fall equal- 
ly and fairly, according to the proportion of property, upon the wealth 
and labor of the land. How lightly do men talk of these things ! How 
indifferently have you heard it said they got a good deal of money by 
the draft. Money itself may be a worthless thing, but there are rela- 
tionships, connected with it which affect us so deeply as to make it 
sacred to us. They might better have drawn a hundred millions of 
dollars from the community by fair taxation than ten millions by this 
unjust method which has brought so much distress and ruin. 

You see the effect of Government undertaking to violate the laws 
of its own existence. I implored the President of the United States, 
in a communication entirely respectful and most earnest in its charac- 
ter, to allow us to make voluntary contributions of men. I was told 
they lacked time. Under what circumstances ? We had sent, in 

UTICA, N. T., OCTOBER 29, 1863. 181 

response to their call, sixteen thousand troops to Pennsylvania in a 
shorter time than perhaps history records a similar act ; and it is not 
too much to say, when we remember in what even balance the victory 
hung, that the influence of the presence of New York soldiers, cheered 
the men who were fighting that terrible battle, and perhaps turned 
the victory at last in our favor. And, after we had done this, when 
we asked to be allowed to raise volunteers to save the State the hu- 
miliation of a conscription, they coldly turned round, and said there 
was no time to allow it. Why, there was time for New Jersey and 
every Western State. Why is the draft postponed in Wisconsin till 
after this election ? Why has this great wrong been done to the 
State of New York? I asked for justice and fairness in this draft. 
I asked that the enrolment lists should be opened to the public, so 
that all could see that they were complete and correct. I asked that 
the people might have an opportunity to satisfy themselves that all 
the names were put in the box. It was denied me. There was a 
continued eifort to disparage the services of this State. I could never 
get a Republican paper to admit that we had raised sixteen thousand 
volunteers since the first of last January, although they can ascertain 
it from the books ; but they call it three or four thousand. I thought 
our own people, at least, ought to be just to their own State, and be 
proud to claim this honor for the great and glorious State of New 
York, that was not and never has been behindhand in any work of 
patriotism. Taking those sent when Pennsylvania was invaded, and 
what we have sent lately, it makes something like 35,000 men. I be- 
lieve that New York has sent more men for the service of the country 
since last January than all the other States in the Union. She has 
responded most nobly to three calls, and while I have nothing to say 
for myself, I will speak for our glorious State, and with deep regret 
I speak it, our Republican friends do not seem willing to do that 
credit to the State which belongs to her. I ask them to do as much, 
namely, to stand up and exert their influence in these matters of com- 
mon interest to strengthen our Government in these times of peril, 
for this is the hour of greatest peril. This demand of the Govern- 
ment for men is not made without an urgent necessity. It is only 
manly and truthful to confront real dangers. You will find in the 
Utica Observer, to-night, a copy of the letter which I received from 
the Provost-Marshal-General. It was given out to the press through 
some mysterious agency that the quota of New York would be thirty- 
eight thousand. I received a letter dated October 21, stating that 
this was the quota ; and two or three days after, received another 
letter, bearing the same date, which seemed to have been a good while 
coming, and which gave the amount of men required from New York 
as one hundred and eight thousand. The first statement got into the 
telegraphic dispatches somehow. I telegraphed to know which state- 
ment was true, and received the answer that one hundred and eight 
thousand was the correct quota, and there was some mistake in the 
first letter — a very remarkable mistake, to say the least. The call 
which is now made, amounts virtually to six hundred thousand men. 
Under the act of last Congress they made a demand for three 
hundred thousand men. The quota of this State was something like 
seventy-five thousand men. They gave no credit for men furnished 
in excess of previous calls, of perhaps six or eight thousand. That 


left a demand upon us for sixty-eight thousand men. Under the ar- 
rangements of the Government, there have been furnished by substi- 
tutes and commutation what goes to our credit for about twenty-one 
thousand men. Of this number I believe only about six or seven 
thousand men have been given to the service of our country ; the 
residue has been made up by the payment of three hundred dollars, 
which is received in lieu of the services of a man. In addition, the 
President has called for three hundred thousand more men. Our 
quota is stated at about sixty thousand three years' men. And more, we 
must make up the deficiency of the draft; that is one hundred and 
eight thousand men, at the least, New York must furnish before the 
fifth of January next, or we are to be subjected to another draft. To 
fill up the call that has been made, and save the necessity of the draft, 
I call upon our Republican friends to aid us at this time, in seeing 
that justice is done to our State. One hundred and eight thousand 
men must be furnished before the fifth of January next. Perchance 
from the home of the widow may be taken her only son, or from the 
old man may be taken his last dollar, that he may redeem his son for 
his comfort, his happiness, his life. One hundred and eight thousand 
homes to be made unhappy. These one hundred and eight thousand 
are somebody's brothers, somebody's husbands, somebody's sons. 

I have told you that we, in order to save you from these calamities, 
are struggling to bring this war to a successful and honorable close. 
We say we are loyal. Now for the test. We call upon you all to fill the 
thinned ranks of our armies, to go forth as freemen, but not to go forth 
as manacled slaves. We say, do something more than this. Go not 
only with martial power, but add all the wisdom of statesmanship and 
the powers of conciliation. It is not, my friends, that we would use 
less powerful means to save our country, but that we would use more. 
The teachings of political men, and of all men, are that, when we are 
engaged in a contest like the present, the first moment when we can 
terminate it honorably, it is every way desirable to do so. We are 
waging this war for a purpose which is definite and attainable, while 
they are waging it for purposes which are unattainable and indefinite. 

I believe, my friends, we are to triumph in this election in the State 
of New York. I have hope that the momentous issues which are be- 
fore us are understood. I believe that the people of New York will 
rebuke a policy that, with every victory, rises in its demands and 
brings forward new and revolutionary issues for which to prolong the 
war. The people have a right to demand that the nation keeps its 
faith, and that the pledges made at the commencement be adhered 
to. They have a right to demand that we shall not be plunged into 
a war for objects which shall make this land of ours a perpetual scene 
of bloodshed, violence and strife. My friends, may God grant that 
when this war is ended, we shall have a restored Union, a restored 
Constitution ; that we shall have restored fraternal regard in all 
parts of the country, and that we shall look over it all with pleasure, 
exclaiming in a spirit of proud patriotism : " This is my own proud 
native land in all its length and breadth, and they who dwell upon it 
are my brethren. I wish them well in God's name." We are called 
upon, not to say that ten stars shall be torn from the National flag, 
and ten States driven back to a territorial condition, but to pray rather 
that every star shall oontinue to glitter there, and every star shall 
represent a State. 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 31, 1863. 183 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic- Meeting, held at 
the Cooper Institute, New York, October 31, 1863. 

The Demand for Troops — Total Number called for — Waste of Life in the War 
— Tendency to National Bankruptcy and Ruin — The Questions of the 
Day — Why the North is divided — The Democracy opposed to Emancipa- 
tion — Subjugation demanded by the Republicans — Attitude of the two 
Political Parties — Advantages of the Democratic Policy — A speedy Ter- 
mination of the War demanded — The Policy of Conciliation — Peace 
otherwise secured no Peace — Cost of the Radical Policy — -Radical Policy 
inconsistent with National Honor — Prolongation of the War means Repu- 
diation — The Danger of new Issues— A strong Government illustrated — 
, Historical Review of the formation of the National Government — Sena- 
torial Usurpations — Unequal Political Power of New England — Defence 
of the Military Record of New York — The Draft Controversy — The New 
York Democracy and the pending Election. 

Fellow-Citizens : — When I was invited to address my fellow-citi- 
zens in this condition of public affairs, I felt myself compelled to 
respond to that invitation. I feel that our country is in extreme peril, 
and I feel that it is the right and the duty of every man at this mo- 
ment to stand forth and do what he can to save the rights and liber- 
ties of the American people. Upon a recent occasion, when the 
President of the United States addressed an assemblage of his poli- 
tical friends, he said he knew of nothing in the Constitution that for- 
bid him from so doing. On my part, I can find much in the Consti- 
tution of our country, and the genius of our institutions, that makes 
it the duty of every official, at times like these, to stand forth and 
speak plainly with regard to public affairs. 

One year ago I addressed a vast assemblage like this in this very 
room. What has transpired since that time? Then the people of 
these United States, in response to an appeal which was made to them 
by its Government, had just sent up six hundred thousand men to fill 
the armies of the Union. At that time we had a right to expect, be- 
fore twelve months should have passed away, that we should have 
reached an end to the sad war which has carried desolation over our 
land and mourning into its homes. Since the beginning of this war 
the Administration has, at different times, called upon the people for- 
mally for nearly fourteen hundred thousand men. We are advised 
that this call was more than responded to, for we are told that the 
Northwestern States had, under the call made by the conscription 
act, large credits which were to be deducted from the amount which 
they were to furnish under that act of Congress. Under the con- 
scription law itself, in addition to the thirteen hundred and seventy- 
five thousand men that at different times have been called into the 
service, a demand was made for more than three hundred thousand 
more. I mean by this that, taking into account the surplus which 
had been furnished by the Western States, and the demand made 
upon the Atlantic States, it would swell the calls made upon this peo- 
ple up to seventeen hundred thousand men. Within the last few 
weeks the President, in addition to that, has called for three hundred 
thousand more, making a total of two millions of men who have been 


demanded thus far iu the progress of this war, more than fourteen 
hundred thousand of whom have gone forth to the battle-field. 

When I addressed you one year ago the armies of this Union ex- 
ceeded seven hundred thousand in numbers, and we are told by the 
President in his proclamation, and it is well known to every intelli- 
gent man in this land, that our forces are insufficient for the purpose 
of putting down the rebellion ; and now another additional call is 
made upon you, which, as I said before, counting the numbers con- 
templated by the conscription act, and counting in those that are de- 
manded by the President, will amount to nearly six hundred thousand 

The experience of this war has shown that every year wastes one 
half of our armies. This is now well ascertained. It is ascertained 
from every source where inquiry has been made ; it is our. experience 
in this State ; it is the experience of other States ; it is a result which 
we have ascertained so accurately and precisely that we can now lay 
it down as a rule that every twelve months wastes one half of our 
armies. And when again our army shall have increased to seven 
hundred thousand men, or when, as a year ago, it numbered seven 
hundred thousand men, each day diminishes its numbers by one 
thousand. I do not say that all of these fell upon the battle-field ; I 
do not say that they all languished and died in hospitals. I know 
many of them returned to their homes; I know that their fates vary; 
but what I do mean to say is this, that they were lost to the armies 
of our country for the time being at least. 

Now, in view of this monstrous waste of human life, and in view 
of another fact, that when this war began we were a people free from 
debt and comparatively free from taxation, we find ourselves to-day 
burdened with a debt which is variously estimated to be from fifteen 
hundred millions to two thousand millions of dollars. Now, in view 
of this result, and in view of the fact that the war is not yet ended, I 
stand before you this night to address to you some considerations 
which seem to be of the utmost public importance ; nay more, con- 
siderations which do not merely concern us as a nation in our rela- 
tionships to the nation, but which concern every man within the 
sound of my voice in his own person, affecting his property, affecting 
his home, affecting all the dearest and most important relationships 
of life. 

Now, however we may differ about other things, one thing all 
men must agree to, that there is an amount of debt which will lead 
to National bankruptcy. One man may fix the sum at two thousand 
millions, another at three, or auother, perchance more sanguine, at 
four thousand millions ; but all men, I care not what their political 
views may be, whether they are Democrats or whether they are 
Republicans, agree in this — that there is an amount of public in- 
debtedness, which, when it is once created, will be beyond the 
ability of this people to pay. But more than that : in view of what 
I have already stated to you we all agree in another proposition, 
whatever our political views may be, that a continuance of this war 
will involve us in National ruin ; for when I tell you what has been 
the waste heretofore, every man will agree that there will be a time 
— one may say a year from this, or another two, or another, perchance, 
three years; but we all agree in this — that there is in the pathway 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. T., OCT. 31, 1863. 185 

on which we are travelling appoint of time, which, if we reach it, if 
we do not save our Union and reach an honorable peace before we 
reach that point of time, we will be involved in National ruin. 

Now bear these two points in view upon which we are all agreed. 
What, then, is the problem that we are compelled to solve ? It is 
upon this that I mean to speak to-night. I will forget the past. I 
will overlook all the wrongs that have been done to the great patri- 
otic, conservative Democratic party of our land. I will forget 
whatever of personal injustice may have been done to myself. I say, 
for the time being, let the curtain fall over the past, and we will 
leave its transactions and events to the judgment of a dispassionate 
future ; and now at this time let us come forward, and plainly^ fairly, 
and honestly, confront the questions of the day. Our country is in 
imminent peril. As I said before, if we continue on with this war 
without bringing it to a timely and successful conclusion, we are of 
necessity to be overwhelmed with bankruptcy, National ruin, social 
arnachy, and disorder. How, then, is this to be done ? 

Now we are agreed on all hands upon another point, Republi- 
can and Democrat alike, and that is, that our Union must be saved ! 
our Constitution must be upheld! I say upon this point all are 
agreed — Republican and Democrat alike. I say that because I am 
in mood in this sad and mournful hour of our country's distress to 
indulge in no harsh remark toward my political opponents. Yet I 
was mortified when I heard that the Vice-President of these United 
States, perhaps in this very room, declared that he supposed " there 
were men in this State who want the Union as it was and the Consti- 
tution as it is, but they cannot have it." I tell the Vice-President we 
will have it. Then we are seeking on all hands to bring this war to 
a successful result before, in the progress of time and events, we are 
overwhelmed with financial destruction and National ruin. Shall it be 
done? That is the question before us. That is the question which 
we ought to confront, and, if possible, solve at this time, before we 
deposit our votes in the ballot-box. The proposition which I have 
stated, and which no man will gainsay, makes another thing clear 
every day that rolls on. This expenditure, this waste of blood and 
treasure, brings us still nearer to the calamities to which I have 

I have stated wherein men of all parties substantially agree. Now, 
wherein are we divided? Why are we thus divided in opinion? 
Why, at this moment in our country's peril, is the public mind 
agitated by contention and by strife ? It is this : We declare that 
we battle for the restoration of our Union — for the preservation of 
our Constitution. We say that this war should be waged for that 
purpose and that purpose alone. Now, the radical portion of the 
Republican party say more than this — that this war must be carried 
on, not merely for the restoration of the Union, not merely to restore 
the jurisdiction of your Constitution, but it must be carried on, as 
they say, to root out what they assume to be the cause of the war, 
— the institution of slavery. Against that we protested, because it 
Was deviating from that policy which was arrived at at the outset, 
declared with all solemnity by the President of the United States, and 
asserted by the unanimous vote of Congress. 

But this is not all. The radical portion of the Republican party, 


whose policy has prevailed in that party up to this time, declares now 
still another thing: that this war must go on until the people of the 
South and the Southern States are subjugated ; that ten States shall 
be trampled out of existence, shall be reduced to a territorial condi- 
tion, and, to use the language of a Senator from New England, they 
demand subjugation. He said subjugation — that is the term. 

Now, then, what is the attitude of the two parties ? We, on our 
part, combat for that upon which the Northern mind is united : the 
restoration of our Union and the support of our Constitution, bringing 
our people back to the condition they were in before this unhappy 
war broke out. Now we are contending for that which is most easily 
attained, because upon that point we are a united people — most easily 
attained, because once declared before the whole world that such is 
the purpose of the Government, and you would have not only a united 
North, but a divided South. I tell you there are hundreds of thou- 
sands at the South — nay, more, I believe that at this hour a majority 
of the Southern people, if they could return once again within the 
fold of this Union, and feel themselves protected by its Constitution, 
would again come back to their allegiance, and the blessings of peace 
would be again restored to a distracted land. Now, no man, I care 
not what his political views may be, will deny this proposition, that 
it is more easy to bring this war to a successful result, by making it a 
war for the restoration of the Union and for the support of the Con- 
stitution, than by making it a war for subjugation, by making it a 
war that designs to trample out the rights and lives of States, by 
making it a war that substantially must change and modify the whole 
nature of our national institutions. There is no man who will deny 
that upon this point we are more united. We agree upon this. There 
is no man who can deny that upon this point we eould rally to our 
standard thousands of those who now stand in armed resistance 
against the Government, because they fear the policy they will pursue, 
when they declare it is not the purpose of this Government to restore 
the Union as it was, or that would protect the Constitution in all its 
terms. There we have this advantage over our opponents. We are 
contending for that which may be reached most easily and in the 
shortest space of time. We are contending for that which may be 
attained with the smallest waste of treasure. We are contending for 
that which may be reached with the least possible waste of blood 
and the lives of the American people. 

Now, then, there is no fair-minded man who will stand up and say 
that it is as easy to subjugate the South as it is to consolidate the 
South. There is not a fair-minded man who will for a moment con- 
tend that it is not more difficult, more expensive, more uncertain, 
when we attempt what has been rarely accomplished in the history 
of the world, when we attempt to subjugate the people of the South, 
to reduce them to an abject condition, and to dictate to them the con- 
ditions under which they shall exist ; and the more especially when the 
declaration goes out expressive of extreme antipathy and hatred. 
We all agree to this, that the continuance of the war will bring Na- 
tional bankruptcy upon us. We all agree in this, that the continu- 
ance of the war is a waste of National life, a waste of the blood of our 
people, that it destroys labor, and drives men away from home, and 
not unfrequently drives them to other lands ; that the prolongation 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 31, 1863. 1S7 

of the war beyond a certain period of time brings National ruin. We 
of the Democratic party are in favor of stopping the war at the earliest 
moment of time; in favor of whatever measure is calculated to bring 
it to a successful result ; while, on the other hand, it is clear to the 
apprehension of every man — of those who would go further, those 
who would prolong the war for the purposes of subjugation, of carry- 
ing out the theory of centralization of government — are those who 
are increasing the list of calamities to which I have alluded, are those 
who bring us nearer and nearer to the fatal abyss into which we must 
be precipitated, unless, in some timely moment, we bring the war to 
a just, proper, and honorable conclusion. It is clear to the mind of 
all who are contending for that which is most easily attained, that we, 
as a party, are pursuing a policy vastly more secure, vastly more safe, 
and far more calculated to preserve us from the evils to which I have 

This nation is like a man floating above the falls of the Niagara 
river — above the mighty cataract itself; and while he is yet at a safe 
distance, or can save himself from the flood which will carry him to 
destruction, he does not avail himself of the means of escape that 
may be within his reach, and he goes nearer, and nearer, and 
still nearer, till at length he finds himself beyond the influences 
which might have saved him, and he is overwhelmed beneath the 
flood when it is too late for him to withdraw himself from the calamity 
which must terminate his existence. We are not only contending for 
that which is most attainable, but for that which is most valuable. 
It may be said that although we admit in asking more than they ask 
in making further issues — in going for subjugation and centralization, 
in changing the character of the war — we ask what may be more diffi- 
cult to attain ; yet, when reached, will be worth all the cost of blood 
and treasure now spent. Let us look to this, for it is the true 
answer. Listen to me for a moment. If the war is brought to an 
honorable conclusion ; if we can bring those, by force of arms, and 
statesmanship, and conciliation, now in resistance to the Government, 
to return to their allegiance — when we have brought them to us by 
these terms — we have a basis indeed, when we have brought them to 
this state of mind, and they will be content to remain in the full 
enjoyment of their constitutional rights. 

Now I assert that the people of the North are as deeply interested 
in preserving the constitutional rights of the South as the people of 
the South themselves are. You can have no peace in the land white 
one-third of the people feel themselves wronged, and injured, and 
trampled upon. Every man knows you can have no peace in the land 
unless all the people stand on the same platform as regards their 
constitutional rights and privileges, and enjoy equal terms in all re- 
spects with reference to the Government. But, on the other hand, 
suppose we spend more money, and blood, and treasure ; suppose we 
encounter all the hazards of a prolonged war ; suppose we are so for- 
tunate, indeed so unfortunate, as as to be able to subjugate the South, 
what then ? I tell you that such a peace as that is no peace in any 
sense of the term. Subjugation makes occupation necessary ; it ne- 
cessitates a waste of treasure; it keeps up the cost of the war; it 
demands the waste of blood, and treasure, and life of the people ; 
for we all know that life is wasted on Southern soil — wasted under 


the Southern sun in moments of inactivity, as well as active service. 
Such a peace, if not a mockery and a snare to call it a peace, means 
what ? That the people of the North are to maintain great armies ; 
to send forever their sons under one perpetual conscription to hold 
their brethren of the South in subjection. 

If not conciliated, if not reconciled by generous treatment, what 
hope is there of peace ? But what is the proposition? That they 
shall be held by military force at the expense of the life and treasure, 
aye, and at the end, at the expense of the liberties of the people of the 
North. What would be our resolve under like circumstances? 
What man would be so mad, who would dare to say, in the face of 
the people — if, perchance, it had been our sad misfortune to be 
brought in collision with the Government — that New York could be 
kept in the Union more easily and more securely by war and confis- 
cation than by giving her her just rights, by conciliating her people, by 
restoring that love of Union and love of the Constitution which 
should ever dwell in the hearts of the American citizen ? The great 
conservative party is contending for that which is most easily gained, 
that which can be reached with the least expense of life, and blood, 
and treasure. And, more than that, we are contending for that 
which, when gained, is far more valuable than the subjugation of 
American States. 

I have told you what the cost of this war has been. Now, under 
the policy that has 'been declared by the radical leaders of the Re- 
publican party, when will that cost end ? If, in addition, you pro- 
long the contest, increasing its cost, you make peace itself— that kind 
of peace that they would have — almost as destructive as the active 
War in which we are engaged. 

Now, we object further to the policy of the radical Republicans, and 
those who control that party. They are not only attempting to gain 
that which we believe to be unattainable — not only attempting to 
waste more blood and more treasure — but they are not bringing to 
bear upon the contest something which is as great an instrumentality 
to secure success as war. They say in this hour of our country's 
peril, when we are now engaged in this war — when everything hangs, 
if you please, on the events of the battle-field — that they would put 
forth the exertion of every material power, and so do we. We will 
go with' them in that, but we will do more than that. There they stop, 
and say,' " Force, force alone." Here we say we would superadd to 
fiSrce the power of conciliation. We would have wise statesmanship, we 
would have a liberal patriotism and an enlarged philanthropy that, 
rising above passion and above prejudice, should honestly and thought- 
fully seek out the real good of the whole American people. Is there no 
power in this beyond the mere force of arms ? No man is more impressed 
than I am with all the magnificence of battle's array ; no man has been 
more impressed than I have been with our magnificent army, as I have 
seen them pass by me in vast numbers, with all the material strength 
they displayed — young men in the prime of life, full of vigor, full 
of ambition, full of daring courage ; but high as I rank the armies of 
my country, much as I admire their bravery, their daring, their 
patriotism, he has but an infirm mind who does not know that there 
are powers and influences greater than that of material strength. Is 
not wisdom more than strength ? Is not virtue more than mere mus- 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. T., OCT. 31, 1863. 189 

cular power ? Is not the wisdom, is not the Christian charity, is not 
the earnest patriotism which at this time calls upon us to superadd 
something to the power of force, greater than even material force 
itself? Will the preacher in his pulpit — who, alas ! too many times 
forgets the character of his own religion — dare to stand forth and say 
that force is better than Christianity ? that force is better than wis- 
dom ? that force is greater than influences which are generous, and 
which should be exerted when they can be exerted consistently with 
honor and with the interests of our country ? Now, we tell you to 
what end and for what object we would exercise all> these influences 
— as I said before, to the restoration of our Union and to the 
preservation of our Constitution. 

We stand, then, in comparison with our friends of the Republican 
organization, on the advantage ground in every respect. We con- 
tend for that which we can attain ; we contend for that which is far 
better as a result than the one they seek ; we contend for that which 
will not only show that as a people we are marshalled, and that we 
will make our history glorious by our deeds upon the battle-field, but 
we contend for that which will elevate us still higher in the estimation 
of the world, in our own estimation, and in that of all posterity, when 
we show that we are a people capable of magnanimous and generous 
action. But looking to this more closely, I contend that the Radical 
leaders are not only in this matter contending for that which they 
cannot reach — contending for that which is less valuable when at- 
tained, and contending for it at a fearful waste of life and of treasure, 
but they are doing that which is inconsistent with the nation's honor. 
Is there a man within the sound of my voice who believes that when 
Chase came here at the outset of this war to call upon the city of 
New York for its treasures, if he had told them what he declares to- 
day, that they would have ventured one dollar in such an enterprise 
as that? More than that, the proposition of subjugation contains 
within itself the proposition of repudiation and of constant conscrip- 
tion, because it is ill-faith toward the public creditor. It says to 
him : " We have now got your fifteen hundred millions of dollars ; 
you have let us have it, trusting to the national honor and to the 
National wisdom." We understood that you meant to bring this war 
to a conclusion as soon as may be consistent with the purposes for 
which it was waged — for the Union and the Constitution ; we supposed 
there was some significance in the unanimous declaration of Congress 
when they adopted the Crittenden compromise ; we supposed there 
was some significance in the declaration of the President of the 
United States when he had taken upon himself the solemn oath of 
office to support the Constitution, and when he then declared that 
the only object of the war was to bring back xhe States again to their 
proper allegiance. 

Now, every act that prolongs this war unnecessarily ; every act 
that brings us nearer and still nearer any point of time, to which all 
concede we will reach if we continue in that pathway; every such 
act is an act of repudiation, and he who holds a Government bond, 
when he sustains such a policy as that, says by his vote : "I want 
more debt in addition to that which we have got." Will this com- 
munity step forward and uphold a policy which has been declared 
here—that this war shall not stop when the Union is restored ; that 


this war shall not be waged for the purpose of maintaining our Con- 
stitution, but it shall be waged for other purposes, not merely to 
destroy the government of the States — they have got beyond that — 
for we have the bold declaration that it shallgo on until it destroys 
ten States themselves. That is now the proposition openly made in 
this city, and openly approved by the radical leaders of the Republi- 
can party. It was declared by Sumner and by Chase, and it was 
declared in meetings held in the New England States. This right- 
fully calls out the indignation of the people, who embarked in this 
contest for the purpose of restoring the Union, and for the purpose of 
upholding our Constitution. Now, I beg all of you to think of these 
propositions which I have submitted to you ; I beg of you to see if 
there is any escape from the conclusions that I have indicated. 

But that is not all. The war is not waged alone for the definite 
purpose which I have mentioned, but for the present it is carried on 
for a certain purpose more indefinite than that. Why is it that the 
Northern mind is to-day distracted and perplexed ? Why is it that 
we have not the community we had two years ago, when upon all 
hands it was said we were battling for the Union and battling for the 
Constitution ? It is, that day after day we have new theories of 
government put forth, and we are now invited to plunge ourselves 
into the bottomless pit of discussion on questions touching our Gov- 
ernment, which have been settled by eighty years' experience, and 
which, in truth, were settled by the plain letter of the Constitution, 
as it was written down by our fathers. 

Why, we. hear it said not unfrequently that one of the ends and 
objects of this war must be to make this Government strong and 
centralize power ? I am willing that our National Government shall 
be made as strong as human heart and human skill and human wis- 
dom can make it ; but I deny that this Government is to be made 
strong by giving it a jurisdiction that it cannot exercise wisely and 
well. I insist upon it that the strength of this Government depends 
not alone upon the powers that have been given to it by the Consti- 
tution, but its strength, above all, depends upon the powers that are 
withheld from it by the Constitution. Now, our fathers meant, when 
they formed that Constitution, to teach us this : that the Government, 
to be strong, must be founded upon the affections of the people ; that 
they must act in accordance with their will and -wishes, to a proper 

Men at Washington fancied that legislation would give them power, 
and they have tried the experiment. Now, "what have been ;ts re- 
sults? For I want to call your attention, not only to the evils of 
that system to our whole country, but more particularly to the evils 
which have been brought upon our own great State. As I told you, 
I have not one word to say in defence of myself. I do not care what 
may be thought of me in such a sad and solemn hour as this. 
No man lives who values the kindly regard and good opinion of all 
men more than I do. I love to have the affections of my neighbor, 
whatever party he may belong to ; but at this moment, when the 
destinies of our country tremble in the scale, all personal passions 
are hushed and subdued within my heart, and I approach this 
question, not as a man who cares for man's judgment, but as 
one who, in a few brief years, is to give an account to Him who 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 31, 1863. 191 

reigns above us all. I pass by unnoticed ten thousand hasty 
words of reproach uttered against me; but I nevertheless cannot 
pass by attacks made upon this great and glorious State of ours. 
While I will not defend myself, I will defend the action of this State, 
embracing, as it does, the opinions of men of all parties ; and I wish 
to view that in connection with the subject which 1 before alluded 
to, the evils of the centralization of power, the attempt now made in 
certain quarters to consolidate power in the General Government, be- 
cause recitals of the wrongs of our State will serve to illustrate the 
views which I mean to put forth. 

Why is it that when we have had victories we have had no policy 
such as victory demanded ? Why is it, that in the whole progress of 
this war, there has never yet been put forth that which the common 
judgment and common sense of all mankind has ever demanded when 
nations will resort to the arbitrament of arms ? What did our 
fathers say when they attempted to throw off the yoke of their alle- 
giance ? They declared that a decent respect for the opinions of man- 
kind, called upon them then to state their wrongs and their purposes. 
And yet it is most remarkable that in this war, unparalelled for its 
magnitude and its influence, from its beginning down to this time, 
there has never yet been put forth by this Government, except some 
broken promise, any distinct, clear enunciation of its policy, of the 
end which it meant to reach, and where it meant to stop. Why is it ? 
I ask why is it ? When we obtained such signal victories at Vicks- 
burg and Port Hudson, all the world thought that this contest was 
to be terminated. We were elated with our victories, and those 
against whom we battled were dej>ressed by their defeat. We called 
upon the Government at conventions at this moment, when every 
motive of magnanimity, honor, and patriotism demanded it, that they 
should come forth and offer terms to the other party, that should 
restore peace to the land ; not peace to them alone, but peace to us ; 
not peace alone to their homes, but peace and happiness to our own 
homes ; not only to save their blood, but to save Northern blood. 
For the last three or four months you all know that a cloud has rest- 
ed upon the North as well as the South ; that laborh as been cheerful 
when it did not know how soon it might be turned from its home 
and all those it loved to an involuntary service in the distant battle- 
field. We asked that some great and generous policy should be 
put forth, but our prayers were then unheeded. Why is that ? 
Why is it that this war is so strangely prolonged ? Why is it that 
in detriment and injury to the rights of the people it still rolls on ? 
You may judge for yourselves. Every man who is in favor of cen- 
tralization, every man who is in favor of consolidation, finds a motive 
in the views for the continuation of this war — for it is by the virtue 
of arms and armed force that power is consolidated and centralized 
at the seat of government. 

The doctrine of consolidation and centralization is of itself full of 
civil war, and full of disorder and revolution. It is now proposed to 
strike out of existence ten States — ten States with a very large pop- 
ulation — to deprive them of their representation in Congress until 
the party in power may see fit to restore them to their rights again. 
Look at our Constitution. It was never designed that the General 
Government should have these vast powers. It was never designed 


that it should have the power to destroy the life of the States. What 
would be the inevitable consequence ? New York, ever patri- 
otic, ever generous, ever true, when this Constitution was formed, 
came forward and said it wanted to preserve the States, the lives of 
the States, and the rights of the States. She wanted not to preserve 
the rights of the States alone, but that the General Government 
6hould not overleap its proper limits. Although at this time New York 
was one of the largest States of the Union, and was destined to be 
the foremost State of the Union, yet she declared in the convention 
that every State, in both branches of the legislative department, 
should have no more power than was given to the smallest State of 
this confederacy; but when in the end it was adjusted by allowing 
State representation in the Senate, and popular representation in the 
House of Representatives, the delegates from the State of New York 
withdrew from that convention, because they declared that it was a 
blow at the rights of the State to which they could not consent. 
But, notwithstanding, we did consent to this compromise, and gave 
to New England, with less population than New York, six times 
our voice in the Government — a power that is now used for the pur- 
pose of injuring and ruining it. 

I tell you that a government thus constituted was never intended 
to exercise all the franchises which you would now heap upon it. 
The change which it has undergone has revolutionized the character 
of the Government. The Senate of the United States is absorbing 
the power of the Government. Why, the President of the United 
States does not appoint the principal officers of the State. He can- 
not appoint his own cabinet ministers. He cannot make for us a 
brigadier-general without the help of the Senate. He is powerless 
without the co-operation of the Senate. Then the Senate controls 
the Executive ; but, more than that, the Senate, being substantially 
the appointing power, and holding its term of office for six years, 
controls the House of Representatives. In that branch of the Gov- 
ernment we find that the State of New York has less than one-sixth, 
in proportion to the population, of the power that the New Eng- 
land States have. Now, heretofore we had the balance between the 
Northern and Southern States — we had something to protect us. 
The Southern were smaller States, and they did not always agree 
with the Northern States. New York was commercial, New England 
was manfacturing ; the Southern States wanted both manufactures 
and commerce, and thus situated, all went well ; — we became a great 
and prosperous people. But now these gentlemen, who have six 
times our power, coolly come to New York and say, We will destroy 
this balance. The practical result in the workings of our Government 
is dangerous and injurious to us. 

This is not mere speculation. Let us see what practical results 
have done. You all know that power will exercise itself. We all 
know that the twelve senators from New England, who look out for 
their respective States, have six times the power of the two senators 1 
from New York. I have no doubt that our senators do all they can 
to protect our rights. Nothing was more material than when we 
waged this war, and troops were drawn from the different States by 
quotas, that those quotas should be fairly adjusted. But, more than 
♦hat, when Congress declared that we should have a lottery for life 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. Y., OCT. 31, 1863. 193 

and death, I appeal to every man within the sound of my voice, if it 
was not of vital consequence that such transaction should be equal, 
fair, and just. Let me call your attention to certain facts which are 
important to us, because they not only exhibit a great wrong, but 
they also expose the tendency to centralization, upon which it is im- 
portant that the minds of the American people should be aroused. 

I found when I came into power that New York had furnished 
more than its quota of men, and had sent more than its share of forces 
into the field. The North-western States had done the same thing. 
They were in advance of New York. The North-eastern States were 
a little more patriotic in expression than we. You well know that 
there had been recruiting offices for New England in your city during 
the las* two years. Now, we wanted to know how the account stood. 
It has never been fairly stated how many men these different States 
have sent — how the quota was made up. Under the conscription act 
New York was called upon for sixty-eight thousand. "We were told 
in fixing the number at that amount that the proper credit to which 
we were entitled had been given. When the draft was about to be 
made notices were sent to me showing the enrolment in the different 
Congressional districts here. When these returns were sent to me 
from time to time, I discovered that there was great inequality ; that 
in one district in Brooklyn they called for five thousand, one in this 
city where they called for nearly five thousand, and one in the interi- 
or of the State where they called for fifteen or seventeen hundred. I 
called the attention of the Government to this thing ; I endeavored to 
have justice done. I had a correspondence with the President upon 
this subject — called by our friends upon the other side a very disor- 
ganizing correspondence. Why did they publish it? I never did so. 
If there was anything in that correspondence calculated to excite the 
popular mind, or distract it, the guilt of its publication does not be- 
long to me. The correspondence was most respectful in its terms, 
most honest in its purpose, because I wanted that justice should be 
done between the different districts. I asked that inquiry should be 
made as to this difference in the draft. I asked another thing, and I 
never met a man who did not say that it was fair, and that, was this : 
I sent to Washington and asked when the enrolment was made that 
it should be put up in some conspicuous place. That is the habit in 
regard to the census. It is put up all over the country. Why, when, 
this enrolment was made out, slips might have been printed at a tri- 
fling expense and placed in conspicuous places, wherever men could see 
them. Another thing, I never met the man who would not say that 
some fair system should be devised by which every man should be 
known whose name was to be submitted to the wheel of fate. It was; 
so done in certain districts, in others it was not done. But in no in- 
stance was an order sent forth to know that these things were fairly 
tried, and the names of citizens were fairly drawn. I appeal to any 
one if in an ordinary transaction of life — in a lottery, for instance, of 
a horse, would not the parties interested take care to see that it was- 
fairly drawn? and yet the most solemn transaction in life — the most 
solemn transaction in the history of the world — when somebody's son, 
somebody's brother, some poor woman's husband is drawn — a case 
in which some 68,000 persons would be made unhappy — surely in a 
transaction of that kind every thoughtful man would say, in God's. 



name let us have no complaints — no appearance of any injustice. That 
this was done we denied, and we were called bad men. 

I soon began to discover that they were not only wrong in the con- 
gressional districts, but they were wrong in every way. I told you 
what New York had already done, and yet they told you that New 
York was deficient in her<quota. Now, compare New York with 
Vermont. Vermont never furnished her proper number of men to 
the army, and yet in one of our congressional districts, Buffalo, there 
was a call issued for more conscripts than were called for in the whole 
State of Vermont. Whilst in all, or most of all of the other congres- 
sional districts there were deficiencies, New York gave a surplus 
average in the different congressional districts of twenty per cent. 
more than the NewEnglahd States. Was that right or just ?• Why 
was this ? I do not charge the Government that it meant to do you 
wrong ; but I want to draw the lesson from the fact, and the most 
charitable conclusion I can come to is merely to show you the practi- 
cal evils of centralization and consolidation on the representatives of 
the Government. The New England States have twelve Senators to 
elect, while New York, with a much larger population, elects two 
Senators ; and New York, in like proportion, has given all to this 
war ; and she has been wronged, not alone of treasure, but robbed of 
her citizens, and of the best blood of her sons — that which makes her 
great and glorious. 

Our opponents say that they will not have the Constitution as it is, 
nor the Union as it was. And Vice-President Hamlin and others 
told you that we should not have the Union as it was. They do not 
tell you how it must be, but leave it all an uncertainty with the future. 
Look at New York, the great commercial metropolis of the country, 
made rich by the trade and commerce of the Western States. We act 
as the agents of other States, and grow rich and great and powerful. 
The trade and commerce reacts upon the country, and all prospers. 
Is it prudent or right to ask you to engage in revolution to bring 
round a consolidation and centralization of the Government? I do 
not want changes. I want New York to maintain her power. I am 
willing that little Rhode Island should stand forth as a State. I am 
willing that New England, with her ten thousand glorious memories, 
should have all her power ; but I am not willing to have a central and 
consolidated power established in the Government. I am not willing 
to give a power that may be exercised to our detriment and to our 
destruction. No man who is a true friend to himself and the country 
will ever-think of doing this. Every intelligent New Yorker must 
perceive such a system of consolidation and centralization must re- 
sult in injury. It is said that centralization and consolidation would 
make the Government more powerful ; but I deny the proposition, and 
I assert that the power of the General Government would be stronger 
resting on the Constitution than all the power it could employ by 
centralization. If you take a barrel you will find it is made strong 
and serviceable by the iron bands which bind it together. It is then 
of a certain capacity as a barrel, but if it should take it into its head 
to become a hogshead, with all its capacity, and to accomplish this 
should burst all its restraining bands and hoops, it would be neither 
a barrel nor a hogshead, but a bundle of staves. When the bonds 
which keep Government together are violated, when the restraining 

COOPER INSTITUTE, N. T., OCT. 31, 1863. 195 

checks are cast aside,, when the influences which hold it together, 
making it useful and serviceable, are destroyed, you have destroyed 
the General Government itself. 

A gentleman lately asked me if the General Government was not 
going to destroy the action of the States. I said no. Our States can 
live and will live in spite of all. You may roll over Ohio with your 
troops, you may insult Pennsylvania, but the Keystone State will be 
the Keystone State still ; and Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and 
every other sovereign State, will live and exist in all their vigor and 
truth. But I said to these men, I do not fear for the States ; but I 
do fear for the General Government itself. They said they were tired 
of handing round the hat, and begging contributions of the States. I 
reminded them that, with few exceptions, the people of the Northern 
States had given to the General Government an immense army, and 
that, at that moment, I believed that they stood at the head of a 
greater martial power than had ever been seen before in the history 
of the world. Whence did it come ? From the men of the town, 
the school district, the country, and the city. Their sons came up to 
save our Union, and to battle for the flag of our country. These men 
were vested with that mighty power by all parties of the people, but 
they forgot whence it came. They said they would no longer consent 
to pass round the hat and the subscription-box, and they passed the 
conscription act. I begged them not to adopt that measure; I 
warned them of their folly ; I implored them to allow us to go on 
and raise troops as heretofore ; I pointed them to the proud history 
of New York, and what she had done for the country. But they 
would not listen. An enrolment was made, and the measure was 
attempted to be put in execution. After the sad events which had 
followed, I again appealed to the President to give time to raise the 
quota, and was told that in this city which, a few weeks before, had 
sent forth its sons to save this nation's life, protect Pennsylvania, and 
save the capital, this poor request could not be granted because there 
was not time. There was time enough given for every Western State, 
but there was no time for us in this State. None of them were called 
upon till after election. Not one of them had any surplus at the 
beginning of this draft. 

Look at the attitude of New York. Let me tell you what the sur- 
plus has been. Not only had the surplus gone out this year which 
was produced by the energy of my predecessor, but since the first 
day of January last the State of New York has raised more than sixteen 
thousand volunteers — more than has been obtained by the draft. But 
beyond that there came a midnight cry of help. They asked me 
doubtfully and distrustfully when they made a call, whether, under 
the Constitution, they had a right to make it, whether I would do 
what I could to save the country. I responded at once and promptly, 
and I received their warmest thanks for doing it. I was urged to send 
at once, because it would give new spirit to the people of the other 
States. Then the army was not to be denied the little privilege. 
New York was to do what she did do — animate other States. What 
took place ! The battle of Gettysburg — one of the most bloody that 
was ever fought on the face of the earth. For four long days did it 
rage, until at length it was decided by the withdrawal of our enemies, 
and the National capital was safe. Do you think that the sixteen 


thousand that New York had sent forth could have been spared ? 
They were not all upon the battle-field, but they occupied positions 
that relieved men who were there. They gave courage to the soldiers 
and alarmed the enemy. Now, I say it is not claiming too much for 
our own citizens — that the militiamen of the cities of New York and 
Brooklyn, and Rochester and Buffalo — who saved us that battle — with 
the volunteers that have gone forth (not drafted men) since the first 
day of January last — New York has sent to the field thirty-five thou- 
sand men, and I believe that that is a much greater number than has 
been sent by all the other States of the Union voluntarily. I do not 
know this to be the fact, but I believe it to be the truth. 

Then, why should New York be denied the privilege accorded to 
all other States ? Why should we be compelled to furnish an undue 
proportion of those who go forth and sacrifice their lives on the 
battle-field ? But they say that the Administration has been hindered 
in the prosecution of the war by this State. I deny it, not alone in my 
own behalf, and in behalf of the Democratic party, but in behalf of the 
people of the State of New York — men of all parties and opinions. I be- 
lieve that New York is the only State in this confederacy that, without 
regard to the draft, passed a'law giving bounties at all times to those 
who enter the service of their country. The law was not passed by one 
party — it was the action of both. The last Legislature was equally 
divided. The Senate had a strong Republican majority, and the bill 
could not become a law unless I wrote " approved " at the bottom. v 
Therefore, I do not speak for party. I do not speak for myself — except 
to have performed an obvious duty — but I do claim for this State, that 
its own citizens, its own journals, audits own orators, should not have 
been so untrue to it as not to have made these things felt through our 

Thus we stand here, in these days, it seems to me, in a position 
clearly defined. On Tuesday next you must decide for yourselves. 
You may be holders of government securities, or if you. are not you 
are taxpayers, and have a deep and vital interest as citizens in your 
relationship to the Government in bringing this war to a speedy and 
successful conclusion. You have a deep interest in the preservation 
of this Union. It must not perish. You have been the agents of 
the Union and the trustees of the Nation. I have come here from 
the country. I have been in the region west of the Mississippi, 
whence the humble, toiling farmer sends you his produce. As mer- 
chants, you are intrusted with the wealth of the Nation. Your ships 
are loaded and sent to other ports and other climes, to bring back the 
products of all nature in exchange. You enjoy these privileges as 
the result of the Union. We therefore contend for it, are willing to 
put forth resolution for its restoration, but demand that when it is 
gained, it shall not be lost again to gratify any fanatical or visionary 
theories. We say that, when the Constitution is restored, and the 
Union shall be saved, this war must stop. For that we will put forth 
every effort and energy ; but when we have reached it, this war must 
close — must not go on merely to gratify visionary ideas. I appeal to 
you now, then, once more, if we are not contending for that which 
ought to satisfy all ; if we are not contending for that which can be 
attained ; if we are not taking the course which shall save our Nation 
from drifting on in the current which now leads us to National bank- 


ruptcy and ruin ? Then I appeal to you, Republican friends, if your 
leaders have not attempted throughout this State to establish the 
doctrine that this war must go on till the Southern States themselves 
are crushed out, and that they are to be held by military power ; that 
your blood is to be poured out for this object ; that you are to have 
a state of war followed by a state of confusion. You have to decide 
on these things with reference to your interests, with reference to 
the aims of government, and with reference to the awful calamities 
which will fall upon you if the war is prolonged, till at last we are 
overwhelmed in the great vortex of bankruptcy. I am hopeful. I 
cannot despair of the Republic. If men will not listen to reason, 
they must be taught by sad suffering. Whether the Union is to be 
gained now, or after all the suffering, I will never abandon the idea 
that it must be gained. No personal injustice, no insult, no wrong 
shall turn aside our steps one hair's-breadth from. the straight path- 
way of duty. We will contend for the Union, and stand by the 
Constitution as our fathers framed it, and will maintain it. We will 
battle for the flag of our country in all its integrity, and to borrow 
the beautiful figure of another in another State (it is so apt that I use 
it on all such occasions), " When this war is over that blue field shall 
glitter with every star that glitters now, and every star shall repre- 
sent a State." 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1863 

Isr accordance with the custom and laws of this State, I, Horatio 
Setmotte, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby designate 
Thursday, the 26th inst., to be a day of Thanksgiving and prayer, and 
I hereby declare the same to be a legal holiday. In the midst of 
calamity brought upon our country by the wickedness, folly, and 
crimes of men, we have reason to be thankful to Almighty God for 
abundant harvests, for exemption from pestilence, and for the preser- 
vation of our State from the devastations of war which afflict other 
sections of our land. Let us offer fervent prayers that the rebellion 
may be put down, our Union saved, our liberty preserved, and our 
Constitution and Government upheld. As a becoming proof of our 
thankfulness to God, and as a proper evidence of our gratitude to the 
army and navy, I urge our citizens to make contributions on that day 
for the comfort and support of the destitute families of those who 
have lost their lives, or have become disabled, in the service of our 

In the midst of our abundance let us remember charity to those 
who are in want ; and in the hour set apart for social and religious 
thanksgiving and praise within the limits of our State, let us encour- 
age those who are engaged on distant and dangerous fields of duty, 
by showing sympathy and kindness toward their families which need 
our aid and support. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed 
the privy seal of the State, at the city of Albany, the 10th day 
of November, in the year of our Lord 1863. 

Horatio Seymour. 

By the Governor : Daniel F. Tyler, Private Sec. 


Governor Seymour's Second Annual Message, 

Executive Chamber, j 
Albany, January 5, 1864. \ 
To the Legislature : — During the past year the people of New 
York have had reason to be thankful to Almighty God for the bless- 
ings of health and abundance. Our mechanics have been actively 
employed, our farmers have been rewarded with generous returns for 
their labor. The benefactions of our State have been liberal to those 

suffering from want or infirmities. 


[Here follow allusions to local affairs. — Editors.] 


The annual reports of the members of my military staff will present 
much important statistical matter, as well as correspondence of interest. 
They embrace a detailed account of the number of volunteers raised, 
organization of militia, their service in Pennsylvania and Baltimore, 
condition of the State arsenals and armories, the fortified defences of 
the State, the details of the medical department, the relief afforded to 
sick and wounded soldiers, and other facts for your consideration. 

The Bureau of Military Statistics is accomplishing the objects of its 
mission. Its collections embrace invaluable official and historical 
material, illustrating the part the State has taken in the war, 
biographies of volunteers, histories of regiments and other organiza- 
tions, and an account of the aid afforded by towns, cities, and counties. 
No other State has so systematically entered upon the work of pre- 
serving these important records, so honorable to our people and so 
justly due to the brave men who are risking their lives, and those who 
are so munificently responding to the demands of the period. 

[Here follow remarks on educational affairs, finances, State prisons, banks, salt 
springs, the State canals, etc. — Editors.] 


Congress, at its last session, passed an act for drafting citizens into 
the army. It wrought a change in the public feeling with regard to 
military service, and all, without respect to political views, tried to 
evade its operations. It has proved injurious to the civil, industrial, 
and military interests of the country. 

I called the attention of the President of the United States to the 
inequality in the enrolment. The wrong was partially corrected by 
reducing the number called for in those districts where they were 
excessive to the average number in the other districts of the State. 
New York is required to furnish more than other States in proportion 
to its population. This is shown by the following tables : 


The average ratio of enrolment to the male population in the Western 

States, is 19 per ct. 

In New Jersey. 20 " 

In Pennsylvania 18f " 

In the New England States it is 17 " ' 

In the State of New York it is 22 " 

Massachusetts, with ten Congressmen and a population of 1,231,066, has 

to furnish, under the recent call for 300,000 men 15,126 

The first nine Congressional districts of the State of New York, with a 

population of 1,218,949, are called upon for 25,166 

Excess in nine Congressional districts in New York over ten Congres- 
sional districts in Massachusetts 10,040 

The quota of Vermont and New Hampshire, with a united population of 

641,171, and six Representatives in Congress, and four Senators, is. . . 7,099 

The quota of two Congressional districts in New York, the 4th and 6th, 
with a population of 283,229, is 7,628 

It is not claimed that this inequality grows out of any deficiency 
of volunteers heretofore furnished by this State. 

Messrs. James A. Bell, O. C. Kellogg and Wm. H. Bogart, at my 
request, called the attention of the Secretary of War to this subject. 
He promptly appointed William F. Allen, of this State, John Love, 
of Indiana, and Chauncey Smith, of Massachusetts, a commission to 
determine upon some fair mode for correcting these glaring ine- 

The quota of this State under the draft, after deducting credit on 
former calls, was sixty eight thousand men. 

Number of conscripts examined 77,862 

Number exempted for physical disability and other causes 53, 109 

Number who paid commutation 14,073 

Number of substitutes obtained 6,619 

Number of conscripts held to service 2,557 

The failure of conscription, in comparison with volunteering, is 
shown by results in this State. 

Volunteers raised by State authorities from January 1, 1863, to this date 25,324 

Recruits sent to regiments in the field 1,653 

Enlisted by Provost-Marshals 11,060 

Re-enlistments in the field (estimate) 10,000 

Substitutes (volunteers in fact) 6,619 

Enlisted by Provost-Marshals since December 31 1,500 

Total number of conscripts who were delivered at military stations 2,575 

Like results are conspicuous in all parts of our State and in all 
sections of the country — in New England, Pennsylvania, and the 

By an arrangement with Col. Diven and Major Townsend, volun- 
teering under the last call, except in the first ten districts, was con- 
ducted under the direction of committees for the several Congressional 
districts, appointed jointly by the State and National authorities. In 
the first ten districts, including the cities of New York and Brooklyn, 
the whole matter was left in charge of Gen. Hays and the local 
authorities. I am not advised of the results in that part of the State, 
but in the other twenty-one districts the system adopted has been 


The attempt to fill our armies by drafting was abortive. While it 
gave no useful result, it disturbed the public mind, it carried anxiety 
and perplexity into the workshops, the fields, and the homes of our 

It not only fails to fill our armies, but it produces discontent in the 
service ; it is opposed to the genius of our political system ; it alien- 
ates our people from the Government ; it is injurious to the industrial 
pursuits of the country. 

The difficulty in getting recruits is owing, in part, to the exhaust- 
ing demands which have been made for that purpose. But it is also 
owing to other reasons ; and among them attempted coercion is fore- 
most. Congress attempted to keep up the number of men in the 
field without regard to State or local government, and it set aside 
those numerous minor local organizations, whose united contributions 
of men have made up our vast armies. By efforts to make itself 
independent of popular and local influences, the General Government 
impaired its power to get recruits. 

It is asked why a draft should not succeed at the North as well as 
at the South ? Our soldiers would cheerfully undergo the hardships 
not only of a coerced, but of an unpaid service, if the condition of the 
country demanded these sacrifices. They would, as the soldiers of 
the South do, readily share in the privations of their fellow-citizens. 
But, upon the same principle, they have a right to share in the pros- 
perity of the community, when so many are enriched by the operations 
of this war, and when those who stay at home enjoy unusual wages. 
While our Government and people are financially prosperous, our 
armies ought to be filled by bounties, and not by coercion. Government 
is bound in equal justice to give our soldiers the same pay which labor 
earns at home. Another difficulty is the depreciation of our currency. 
While farmers or merchants who sell, or the laborer who works for 
wages, avoid the depreciation by increased price or pay, the soldiers 
have lost one-third of the value of their pay ; for the money they 
get is worth less by thirty-three per cent, than when the war began ; 
hence their families are suffering. 

When this cruel war is over, and our soldiers return to the field or 
the workshop, their labor will be taxed, with that of all other citizens, 
ta pay the debt it heaps up. Why should they not have a fair share 
of its expenditures ? they will have to bear their share of payment. 

The law of Congress was designed to keep up the number of men 
in the field with the least possible public expense. Its workings are 
the reverse of this. It has proved a levy upon property rather than 
a draft upon persons. The act of forcing citizens from their homes 
is repugnant to the feelings of the people. State, local, and munici- 
pal governments have avoided such painful scenes by the imposition 
of heavy taxes and the payment of large bounties to volunteers. This 
will continue to be the effect of every attempt at coerced military 
service, and with still increasing taxation. Prior to 1862, our armies 
were mainly filled by those who accepted the usual pay and .bounties 
of our soldiers. In 1862, when it was proposed to make a draft 
under State laws, the local and State bounties were about $100. 
Last year, under the Congressional act, $300 were paid for volunteers 
in our principal cities. At this time, under the impending draft, the 
local, State, and National bounties amount to $660. The local boun- 


ties do not prevent the exhaustion of our National treasury. They 
are given 'by the same tax-payers who uphold the National credit. 
They are more oppressive upon the industry of the country than they 
would be if they made part of the National debt, and were thus 
more fairly diffused over the whole country. The ten millions paid 
to Government for commutations were taken from a class of men who 
could ill afford to part with their small earnings. It was more hurt- 
ful to the country than a diffused tax for one,, hundred millions of 

The expense of raising troops is also increased by the unexpected 
and irregular demands of the Government for soldiers. Within the 
past eighteen months the Government has made calls upon the coun- 
try for more than 1,200,000, and upon this State for 248,000 men. 

These demands, coming unexpectedly after great armies had been 
sent into the field, embarrassed the business of the country. Many 
who, with time to make preparations, would have entered into 
the service, could not meet these unexpected requisitions. In addi- 
tion to the confusion thus created, threatened drafts added to the 
popular excitement. Enormous bounties have been offered by States, 
towns, and counties, in their anxious competition to get volunteers to 
avoid conscription. 

Another flagrant evil incident to sudden and irregular calls, to be 
filled within short periods to avoid draft, is the opportunity afforded 
for heartless frauds, by which volunteers are entrapped into the service 
and cheated out of their bounties, because they are not advised of 
the advantages offered. Under a permanent and uniform system of 
volunteering, such outrages could not occur, as all classes would be- 
come familiar with its terms. 

In keeping up our armies regard must be had to the industry of 
the people. If this is not done our military power will be destroyed. 
Our armies should not be allowed to run down until they are ineffi- 
cient, and then be reinforced by convulsive efforts. These evils will 
be avoided if in the place of drafts and calls a permanent plan for re- 
cruiting is adopted, and regiments kept up by a constant supply of 
recruits. The drain for men will be less hurtful, as it it will make no 
sudden difficulties with the labor of the country. Reasonable boun- 
ties will induce volunteering ; as time will be allowed to those dis- 
posed to enter the service to arrange their affairs without sacrifice. 
In addition to this continuous system of recruiting, the militia of the 
several States should be armed and equipped in the manner set forth 
in the National Constitution. They will be a reserve force to be 
called out to check disasters, or to follow up the advantages of war. 
While the existence of such militia would thus insure success to mili- 
tary operations, they would not be hurtfully withdrawn from the 
industry of the country. They would uphold the laws in their re- 
spective States, and be a security against invasion from abroad. If 
our State and National Governments had obeyed the requirements 
of their several Constitutions, there would be more than a million of 
organized militia in the Northern States. They would have checked 
this rebellion at once. The negligence and false economy which led 
the State and National Governments to disregard the warnings of our 
fathers upon the subject of arming and disciplining our people, have 
been fearfully punished. Ohio and Pennsylvania would never have 


been invaded, nor would New York at this time be insulted by threat- 
ening attacks upon its border cities and towns, if the militia of the 
States had been kept up. Wise statesmanship and economy demand 
a return to this system. If this is done, and a judicious plan for re- 
cruiting is adopted, there will be no necessity for drafts. 

The safety of our country demands that the sympathy between our 
citizens and our soldiers should be kept alive. Our armies should 
feel that they are upholding a just and paternal Government, which 
respects their personal rights, the happiness of their families, the 
sanctity of their homes. If soldiers are to be raised by coercion, in 
a little time the mass of our armies will be made up of conscripts. 
No one can look without concern upon measures which shall force 
half a million of men from their homes. Our soldiers in the field 
have been animated and sustained through the dangers and hardships 
of the war by the encouragement and sympathy they received when 
they freely went to battle for their country's honor. Would this he 
true of an army of conscripts ? The army must not be estranged 
from our people. They must not feel that they do not enjoy a full 
share of the protection of laws or of the prosperity of the country. 
The natural tendencies of all compact organizations, removed from 
the relationships of society and home, are toward, concentrated 
action., This action will tell directly upon the policy of the Govern- 
ment, as by the laws of several States they are invited to vote in 
local and general elections in distant fields, in ways adapted to their 
organized and military cendition there. A new influence, acting in 
an unusual form, is thus created in the conduct of affairs. A new 
fact exists in our system of government. While the President, as 
Commander-in-chief, controls the army, the unanimous political action 
of the army will make the President. It is the part of wisdom to 
recognize every fact which tells upon the destiny of our country. It 
is folly to overlook the relationship which an army bears as well to 
political as to military affairs. Is it wise to destroy their sympathy 
with the body of our citizens, by forcing them into the field under 
circumstances of even apparent oppression, injustice, or wrong? 
Must we not keep alive in their hearts the sentiment that their inter- 
ests in the country as citizens is far more important than those which 
they hold as soldiers ? Can this be done in any manner so effectual 
as to preserve with sacred care every personal right, to exalt in the 
public mind the sacredness of persons, the security of homes, the 
protection of laws, the independence of the judiciary, the subordina- 
tion of military to civil authority ? Is such enforced service as the 
act of Congress contemplates, consistent with sentiments, without 
which the Government cannot stand or social order be preserved ? 


A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State. 
The events of the past year show that neglect of this truth has ex- 
posed us to dangers of invasion, to the disgrace of riots, and to the 
hazards of still greater calamities. Until recently our arsenals were 
bare of arms, and our State was not only without means to repel in- 
vasion, but it was also unprepared to execute its own laws. The city 


of New York, the great centre of all financial and commercial move- 
ments, has been, until recently, unprotected. Its destruction would 
have paralyzed the action of the General Government. The fortifica- 
tions which were designed for its defence became its greatest danger. 
At any moment a few men could seize them, and with their arma- 
ments destroy the city and its shipping, with vast amounts of treasure, 
and of military and naval stores. To guard against such disasters, 
when I entered upon the duties of this office, I proposed to raise 
militia regiments which could be used to man these forts, and be 
drilled in the use of their heavy ordnance. Gen. Wool, who then 
commanded the Department of the East, at all times showed great 
anxiety to protect the city against sudden attack, but there were dif- 
ficulties in the way growing out of laws of Congress and the rules of 
the War Department. Fortunately for our State and Nation, a few 
thousand men have kept up militia organizations, and have become 
skilled in discipline and the use of arms. This has been done without 
fair legislative support or public sympathy. On three occasions they 
have been called out to avert extreme peril threatened to the National 
capital, and they can fairly claim that if they had not kept up their 
organizations, great and lasting dishonor would have been brought 
upon our country. 

In June I received despatches from the Secretary of War and the 
Governor of Pennsylvania, asking for assistance against the invasion 
of the forces under General Lee. Orders were immediately issued to 
the militia to march at once for the capital of Pennsylvania. Our 
militia are entitled to the credit of making one of the most prompt 
movements recorded in the history of this war. On the 2d day of July 
I received the following despatch from the Governor of Pennsylvania : 

HARRISBURG, July 2, 1863. 
To His Excellency, Governor Seymour : — Send forward more troops as rapidly 
as possible ; every hour increases the necessity for a large force to protect Pennsylvania. 
The battles of yesterday were not decisive, and if Meade should be defeated, unless we 
have a large army, this State will be overrun by rebels. 

A. 6. Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania. 

More troops were immediately sent off in pursuance of this urgent 
appeal. The State has just reason to be proud of the services ren- 
dered by our militia. The correspondence with the General Govern- 
ment, and the reports of the officers in command of the militia on 
this occasion, will be submitted to you. 

At the last session of the Legislature, the Governor, the Comptrol- 
ler of the State, and E. D. Morgan, were appointed commissioners 
for the purpose of taking such measures as they might deem neces- 
sary for the protection of the harbors and frontiers of this State. 

The harbor and fortifications at New York were visited, and found 
open to attack by land and by armed privateers, which were then 
burning our ships within sight of our coast. Government had with- 
drawn its troops, save an inconsiderable number, which could make 
no effectual resistance to any assault. Even the incomplete organiza- 
tions of volunteer regiments, which I had placed under the command 
of Gen. Wool for the purpose of defending the city, had been sent 
to the army to meet the invaders of Pennsylvania. 

While the militia were thus absent from the city, and its forts and 


harbor unprotected, on Saturday, the l'lth day of July, the draft, 
under the act of the last Congress, was commenced in one of the 
wards of the city. I was not advised of the step, and I believe the 
Mayor of the city was equally ignorant of the proceeding. A de- 
spatch was sent to me by the Mayor of New York, informing me of a 
popular outbreak on Monday evening, the 18th day of July, and on 
the following morning I reached the city and found it agitated with 
wild excitement and riotous violence. The militia were ordered to 
return immediately from Pennsylvania, and the following proclama- 
tion was issued : — 

[This proclamation is printed elsewhere in this volume. — Editors.] 

For the purpose of legalizing the most extreme exertion of force 
to put down violent resistance to law, I declared the city in a state of 
insurrection. It was divided into districts, which were placed under 
the control of persons of influence or military experience, who were 
directed to organize the citizens. Three thousand stand of arms 
were issued to these and other organizations. I endeavored by these 
arrangements to enable the police and the military to act against the 
masses of the rioters, and to relieve them from the fatigue of march- 
ing to distant points to check minor disorders. 

To prevent the spread of violence, I obtained from the Collector of 
the port the service of an armed vessel to traverse the rivers and bays 
in the vicinity of New York, and I also authorized the Police Com- 
missioners to charter another steamer, which could be used to carry 
policemen and soldiers to any point on the shores or islands where 
disturbances were threatened. 

The lawless acts which were excited by hostility to the draft, and 
which led to unjustifiable attacks upon the enrolling officers, excited 
the passions of those still more lawless, desperate, and criminal. On 
the third day it became one of the most destructive riots known in 
the history of our country. Disregard for law produced its natural 
results, and life and property were endangered by acts of murder, 
arson, and robbery. The firemen, with the most extraordinary efforts, 
checked the conflagrations which were kindled by incendiaries. The 
destruction of the asylum for colored children, and murderous out- 
rages upon a helpless and unoffending race, were conspicuous among 
other acts of cruelty and wrong. For a time the existence of the 
commercial metropolis of our country was threatened. 

In the sad and humiliating history of this event, it is gratifying that 
the citizens of New York, without important aid from the State or 
Nation, were able of themselves to put down this dangerous insur- 
rection. I do not underrate the value of the services rendered by 
the military or naval officers of the General Government who were 
stationed in that city, or those of General Sandford, for the public are 
under great obligations to them for their courage and prudent coun- 
sels. But they had at their command only a handful of troops, who 
alone were entirely unequal to the duty of defending the vast amount 
of public property which was endangered. The rioters were subdued 
by the exertions of the city officials, civil and military, the people, the 
police, the firemen, and a small body of only twelve hundred, men, 
composed equally of the State and National forces. 

It gives a gratifying assurance of the ability of the greatest city of 


our continent to maintain order in its midst, that it did so under cir- 
cumstances so disadvantageous, against an uprising so unexpected, 
and having its origin in questions deeply exciting to the minds of the 
great masses of its population, and in a measure to which a vast ma- 
jority of its citizens were opposed. 

While elsewhere houses, churches, and charitable institutions have 
been destroyed by mobs and incendiaries' fires, there are few, if any, 
cases where the local population and the civil power, with but little 
military aid, have put down an insurrection of such proportions by. 
such decisive measures. The number killed and wounded is esti- 
mated by the police to be at least one thousand. The judicial au- 
thorities have also punished a large number of guilty parties. The 
report of the District Attorney will be submitted to you. 

The return of some of the New York militia regiments secured 
peace to the city. 

The inability of the Government at that moment to defend its forts 
and public property is stated in the following extract from a letter of 
General Wool, written about a week before these outrages occurred : 

"Allow ms to call your attention to the defenceless condition of this city. I have' 
only five hundred and fifty men to garrison eight forts. One-half of these cannot be 
called artillerists, being very imperfectly instructed in any part of artillery duty. The 
Roanoke is ordered to proceed to Hampton Roads, leaving no vessel of war in the 
harbor or at the depot that can be available in less than ten days. The militia of this 
city and Brooklyn have either been or are being sent to protect and defend Pennsylva- 
nia, which is now paying dear for neglecting to take care of herself by guarding her 
frontier. Is it wise for New Tork to follow her example by neglecting to protect the 
city of New York, the great emporium of the country, and of more importance to the 
government than all other cities under its control ? If I had a sufficient number of 
men to man our guns I might protect the city from ordinary ships of war, but not 
from iron-clad steamers. In our present condition, for want of men to man our guns, 
the Alabama, or any other vessel of her class, might, without fear of injury, enter our 
harbor, and in a few hours destroy one hundred millions of property. I have done all 
in my power to guard against the present condition of the city. The condition of the 
city is an invitation to the rebels to make an effort to assail it." 

Upon the receipt of this letter, I ordered militia from the interior 
of the State to man the fortifications. Unfortunately, General Wool 
was compelled to request me to countermand this order. This pre- 
vented the militia from being placed in the forts, and from aiding to 
put down the riot. I submit- the correspondence with him upon this 
occasion, as well as that held with him during the preceding winter 
and spring. 

In November I received information from the Secretary of War 
that an attack was to be made upon the frontier towns of this State 
by refugees from the South, who had congregated in considerable 
numbers in Canada. I issued orders to Major-General Randall, com- 
manding the Eighth Division, to hold the National Guards under his 
command subject to the orders of General Dix, for the purpose of 
repelling any assault. I do not know how much reason there was 
to fear any invasion of New York. The Colonial Government 
will probably prevent any movement of that kind. But, does it be- 
come the honor or dignity of the State to allow five hundred miles 
of its frontier to depend for its security upon the vigilance or 
power of another nation ? Many of our principal inland cities, out- 
lines of canal and railroads, lie at short distance from this extended 
border. A few thousand men could in a few hours inflict a vast 


amount of injury upon our citizens, and destroy structures upon 
our canals and railroads which could not be replaced before great 
injury would be inflicted upon the commerce of the country. There 
are enemies enough upon our borders to strike blows whenever the 
negligence or changed feelings of the Canadian authorities shall 
allow them to act, and New York has not arms or military organi- 
zations to repel them. Our State can only be made secure by 
arming, equipping, and drilling our militia. If this is not done it will 
be a criminal neglect of the best interests, honor, and safety of the 

The past year has been crowded with events, both civil and mili- 
tary, of the gravest interest. The establishment of a National Bank 
system ; the issue of enormous amounts of paper money, which is 
made a legal tender ; the adoption of a law for coerced military service ; 
the act indemnifying and shielding officials charged with offences against 
the persons and property of citizens ; the suspension of the writ of 
habeas corpus in peaceful and loyal communities, are measures which 
go far toward destroying the rights of States, and centralizing all 
power at the National capital. 

The executive and military officials assume to declare martial law 
and to arrest citizens, where the courts are in undisturbed operation, 
to try them by military tribunals, and to impose punishments unknown 
to the customs of our country ; to administer arbitrary test oaths ; to 
interfere with the freedom of the press, and with State and local 
elections, by military decrees and the display of armed power. 

The President claims the right to do acts beyond his civil jurisdic- 
tion, and beyond the legislative power of Congress, by virtue of his 
position as Commander-in-chief. In this assumption he is sustained 
by both branches of Congress, and by a large share of the people of 
the country. These proceedings of Congress and the action of the 
executive and military officials have wrought a revolution. These 
acts have been sustained by the army and acquiesced in by the peo- 
ple. The civil power, the laws of States, and the decisions of the 
judiciary, have been made subordinate to military authority. At this 
time, then, we are living under a military government, which claims 
that its highest prerogatives spring from martial law and military 
necessities. This revolution, if permanently accepted, must be recog- 
nized as an overthrow of established and cherished principles of gov- 
ernment. Hereafter it will force itself upon the attention of the 
American people, who will then see and feel its nature and results. 
To their decision, in calmer hours, this subject must be referred. 

If these measures of military, political, and financial consolidation 
break down, their failure will show the wisdom of the Constitution 
in withholding from the General Government powers it cannot exer- 
cise wisely and well ; and it will establish the rights of States upon a 
basis firm and undisputed, and will make the General Government 
strong by confining it to its proper jurisdiction. In the end we shall 
return to the principles from which we have been drifting. 

In the meanwhile, we are threatened with other calamities which 
demand our immediate attention. The rights of the people and the 
restraints of the Constitution can be re-asserted whenever the public 
shall demand their restoration, but it is beyond the power of the 
popular will to rescue us from the calamities of National bankruptcy 


or National ruin, when these have befallen us. The progress of 
events has brought us to a point where we are compelled to contem- 
plate these calamities, and to consider how they may b,e averted. 

While it is a duty to state plainly my views about public affairs, I 
shall do so in no spirit of controversy, or of disrespect for the opinions 
of those who differ from me. The questions of the day are beyond 
the grasp of airy mind to comprehend in their influences or results. 
We see them from different stand-points, and we reach conflicting 
conclusions. None but the ignorant, the bigoted, or the designing, 
will make these differences of views occasions for reproach or con- 
tumely. The times demand out-spoken discussions. When we see 
good and earnest men, under the influence of some absorbing senti- 
ment, overlooking the great principles of good government, trampling 
upon usages and procedures which have grown up with the history 
of liberty in the civilized world, we are warned that none of us can 
claim to be above the influence of passions or of prejudices. While 
I do not agree with those upon the one hand who insist upon an 
unconditional peace, or with those, upon the other extreme, who 
would use only unqualified force in putting down this rebellion, I 
demand for them what I ask for those who concur in the views which 
I present, a fair, dispassionate, and respectful hearing. Let not the 
perils of our country be increased by bigotry, by partisan passions, 
or by an unwillingness to allow opinions to be uttered in forms and 
modes in accordance with the usages of our people and the spirit of 
our laws. 

Since the outset of the war the National Administration has asked 
for nearly two millions of men. To keep up our armies, the average 
annual calls have been more than 400,000 men. 

In addition to the loss of life, there has been a diversion of labor 
from peaceful and productive occupations to war, which destroys the 
accumulated wealth of the country. 

The Secretary of the Treasury states the National debt will be 
sixteen hundred millions in July next. This does not include unas- 
certained demands. In our former wars these latent claims have nearly 
doubled the liabilities supposed to exist during their progress. If 
the war should cease to-day, the National indebtedness could not fall 
short of two thousand millions of dollars. To this must be added the 
aggregate of State, county, and town obligations. The cost of carry- 
ing on the war hereafter will be increased by iarger pay to our 
soldiers, by interest accounts, by enhanced prices of provisions, trans- 
portation, and material, growing out of a depreciated currency. The 
proposed issue of three hundred millions of paper money, under the 
National banking scheme, in addition to the vast sum now put out 
by Government, will add to the inflation of prices. 

Conflicting views are held as to the amount of indebtedness which 
would cause National bankruptcy, and with regard to the length of 
time the war can go on without causing National ruin. All agree in 
this : that there is an amount of indebtedness which would over- 
whelm us with bankruptcy, that there is a duration of war which 
would bring upon us National ruin. The problem with which we 
have to grapple is: How can we bring this war to a conclusion 
before such disasters overwhelm us ? These perils must be con- 


Two antagonistic theories are now before the American people for 
bringing to an end the destructive contest in which we are engaged. 
The first is that contained in the resolution adopted by Congress and 
approved by the President at an early day, and upon the faith of 
■which the people of this country, without distinction of party, have 
furnished more than one million of men to our armies, and vast con- 
tributions to the treasury of our country. 

This resolution consecrated the energies of war and the policy of 
government to the restoration of the Union, the support of our Con- 
stitution. It was a solemn appeal to the civilized world that the ob- 
jects thus clearly set forth justified a war -which not only concerned 
the American people, but which also disturbed the commerce and in- 
dustry of all nations. 

The opposite theory prevents the return of the revolted States upon 
the condition of laying down their arms; it denies them a political 
existence which enables them to come back upon any terms ; it holds 
that States in the revolted section of the country must be "re-estab- 
lished ; " that the States hereafter made may or may not hold names 
or boundaries of the States thus destroyed, although " it is suggested 
as not improper " that these names and boundaries, &c, should be 

The war, therefore, is not to be brought to an end by the submis- 
sion of these States to the Constitution, and their return to the Union, 
but it must be prolonged until the South is subjugated to the accep- 
tance, not of its duties under the Constitution, but of such terms as 
may be dictated. Until States are thus " re-established," it is held 
that there are no political organizations which can bring back the people 
to their allegiance ; that if the nine States spoken of in the Proclama- 
tion of the President should lay down their arms, and should return 
to the performance of their duties, they would not be recognized nor 
received. This theory designs a sweeping revolution in the section 
of our country now in rebellion, and the creation of a new political 
system by virtue of executive decrees. 

Is this calculated to stop the waste of blood and treasure ? If the 
South is revolutionized, its property devastated, its industry broken 
up and destroyed, will this benefit the North ? 

Those who urge the restoration of the Union, and the preservation 
of our Constitution, contend that, in addition to upholding our armies 
and our navies, every measure of wise statesmanship and conciliatory 
policy shall be adopted to bring this war to a successful close. 

Only the ends for which this war was begun should be sought ; be- 
cause they are the most easily attained, most beneficial when gained, 
and in their support the most varied, the most enlarged, and the most 
patriotic influences can be exerted. 

On the other hand, it is insisted that the war shall be prolonged by 
waging it for purposes beyond those avowed at the outset, and by 
making demands which will excite a desperate resistance. A demand 
is made that the people of the South shall swear to abide by a pro 
clamation put forth with reluctance, and which is objected to by a 
large share of Northern people as unwise and unjust, as it makes no 
distinction between the guilty and the innocent. They are to take an 
oath to which no reputable citizen of the North of any party will sub- 
scribe : that they will uphold any future proclamations relating to 


slavery. They are to submit themselves to uttered and unuttered 
opinions and decrees. No longer regarding the war as directed 
against armed rebellion, it is to be waged against people, property, 
and local institutions ! It is held that the whole population within 
the limits of certain States are stripped of ail political 1 rights until they 
are purged by presidential clemency. 

The disorganization and destruction of the South are not to save us 
from the cost of war. The plan for the future government of the se- 
ceded States demands the maintenance of armies and a continued 
drain upon the persons and property of our people. Whenever one- 
tenth, of the voters of either of these States shall submit themselves 
to the conditions imposed, they may form new governments with new 
or old names and boundaries. This inconsiderable minority is to be 
supported in the exercise of power by the arms and treasure of the 
North. There will be no motives on their part to draw the remain- 
ing population into the support of the governments thus created. 
There will be every inducement of power, of gain, and of ambition, to 
perpetuate the condition of affairs so favorable to individual purposes. 
It will also be for the interest of the National Administration to con- 
tinue this system of government, so utterly at variance with a repre- 
sentative policy. Is not this the same mistaken theory upon which 
other nations have tried to govern their dependencies ? Has complete 
subjugation for centuries produced the quiet, the obedience to law, 
the order, the security to life and property, the kindly feelings, or the 
mutual contributions to prosperity^ which belong to real peace ?. 

Governments thus formed Would represent not the interests of their 
citizens, but the wills and interests of the power that creates and sustains 
them. The nine States thus controlled would balance in the House 
of Representatives in the choice of President, and at all times in the 
Senate, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, 
Missouri, Kentucky and-Wisconsin* with a united : population of 16,533,- 
383, which is more than one-half of that of our whole country. The 
one-tenth who would accept the Proclamation for the price of power, 
would not only govern the States made by Executive decrees, but 
they would also govern the North. While the plan is harsh to the 
body of the Southern people, it is still more unjust toward the North. 
Fourteen hundred men in Florida would balance in the Senate of the 
United States the power of New York. Less than 70,000 voters in 
the nine States named in the President's proclamation, would wield a 
power sufficient to weigh down that of the nine most populous States 
in the Union. 

We should thus have, with the nominal States of Eastern and 
Western Virginia, a system of rotten boroughs which would govern 
the Union, and destroy the representative nature of our government. 
This, in connection with existing inequalities in State representation, 
would be a dangerous invasion of the rights of a majority of the 
American people.- It would enable an administration to perpetuate 
its power. < 

It is a fact full of significance that every measure to convert the 
war against armed rebellion into one against private property and 
personal rights at the South, has been accompanied by claims to 
exercise military power in the loyal States of the North. ' 

The- Proclamation of Emancipation at the South, and the suspension 


21.V KHifJUtiU UJ!' ilUKATIU SJi I M.\J U li. 

of the writ of habeas corpus at the North ; the confiscation of private 
property in the seceding States, and the arbitrary arrests, imprison- 
ment and banishment, of the citizens of loyal States; the claim to 
destroy political organizations at the South, and the armed inter- 
ference by Government in local elections, have been contemporaneous 

These acts at first ■were justified upon ,the ground that they were 
necessary to save the national existence. We now find that new 
and more extreme claims to arbitrary power are put forth when it is 
declared that the strength of the rebellion is broken, and that our 
armies are about to trample out every vestige of its incendiary fires. 
More prerogatives are asserted in the hour of triumph than were 
claimed as a necessity in days of disaster and of danger. 

The doctrine of Southern disorganization and revolution is a doc- 
trine of National bankruptcy, and of National ruin ; it is a measure for 
lasting military despotism over one-third of our country, which will 
be the basis for military despotism over the whole land. It does not 
contemplate the return of our soldiers to their families, or relief from 
the cost and sacrifices of war. It will make an enduring drain upon 
our homes, and impose crushing burdens upon our labor and industry. 
It will open a wide and lasting field for peculation . and fraud. It 
tends to perpetuate power by making and unmaking States', .as the 
interests of factions may dictate. It will be a source of internal dis- 
order, and disquietude, and National weakness in our external relations. 
It will give dangerous allies to invaders of our soil. 

If this war is to make a social revolution and structural changes in 
great States, we have seen only its beginning.: Such changes are the 
work of time. If they are to be made by military power, it must be 
exerted through long periods. Whether white or blaek troops are 
used, the diversion from labor and the cost of war will be equally 
prolonged, and we have just entered upon a course of certain cost 
and uncertain results. No such changes as are now urged, have ever, 
in the world's history, been without struggles lasting through more 
than one generation of men. 

What has Government accomplished in the territories wrested 
from rebellion by the valor of our armies ? Has it pacified them ? 
Has it revived the arts of peace ? Have quiet and confidence been 
restored ? Is commerce renewed ? Are they not held as they were 
conquered— at the expense of Northern blood and treasure ? Are 
not our armies wasted by holding under armed control those who, 
under a wise and generous policy, would have been friends ? The 
spirit which prompts the harsh measure of subjugation has driven off 
many in the border States, who, at the crisis of our country's fate, 
broke away from their ancient sympathies with the seceding States 
and clung to the Union. States which, by the elections of the people, 
ranged themselves upon the side of, the Constitution, are not allowed 
the free exercise of the elective franchise. In some quarters discon- 
tent has been increased ; in no place has the wisdom of Government 
gained us allies. 

There is but one course which will save us from National ruin. We 
must adhere to the solemn pledges made by our Government at the 
outset of the war. 

We must seek to restore the Union and to uphold the Constitution. 


To this endy while we put forth every exertion of material power to 
beat • down armed rebellion,., we must use every influence of wise 
statesmanship to ; bring back the States which now reject their con- 
stitutional obligations. We must hold forth every honorable induce- 
ment to the people of the South to assume again' the rights and duties 
of American citizenship. ' . 

We have reached that point in the progress of ; the war, for which 
all have struggled and all have put forth united exertions. Our 
armies and navies have won signal victories ; they have done their 
part with courage, skill, and success. By the usage of the civilized 
world, statesmanship must now exert its influence. If our cause fails, 
in the judgment of the world it will be charged to the lack of wis- 
dom in the cabinet, and not to the want of bravery or patriotism in 
the army. The great object of victories is to bring back peace ; we 
can now with dignity and magnanimity proclaim to the world our 
■wish that States, which have long been identified with our history, 
should reassume their positions in the Union. We' now stand before 
the world a great and successful military power. No one can 'foresee 
the latent victories or defeats which lie in our course if force, and 
force alone, is to be exerted. The past has taught us the certain cost 
of war and the uncertainties of its results. 

In this contest belligerent rights are necessarily conceded to the 
South. The usages of international warfare are practiced in the 
recognition of flags and the exchanges of prisoners. Is it wise to 
put ofl" the end of the war, and thereby continue a recognition which 
tends to familiarize the public mind in our own country, and in the 
world at large, with the idea that we are disunited into two distinct 
nationalities ? A needlessly protracted war becomes disunion. 

Wise statesmanship can now bring this war to a close, upon the 
terms solemnly avowed at the outset of the contest. Good faith to 
the public creditors ; to all classes of citizens of our country ; to the 
world, demands that this be done. 

The triumph won by the soldiers in the field should be followed up 
and secured by the peace-making policy of the statesmen in the cab- 
inet. In no other way can we save our Union. 

The fearful struggle which has taught ithe North and South the 
courage, the endurance, and the resources of 'our people, have made 
a basis of mutual respect upon which a generous and magnanimous 
policy can build lasting relationships of union, intercourse, and fraternal 
regard. If our course is to be shaped by narrow and vindictive pas- 
sions, by. venal purposes, or by partisan objects*- then a patriotic 
people have poured out their blood and treasure in vain, and the 
future is full of disaster and ruin. 

We should seek not the disorganization. but the pacification of that 
section of our country devastated by civil war. 

In this hour of triumph appeals should be made to States which are 
identified with the growth and greatness of our country, and with 
some of which are associated the patriotic memories'of our Revolution- 
ary struggle. Every generous mind revolts at the thought of destroying 
all those memories that cling about the better days of. the Republic ; 
that are connected with the sacrifices of the men who have made our 
history glorious by their services in the cabinet, in the forum and in 
the field. 


The victories which, have given our Government its present com- 
manding position were won by men who rallied around and fought 
beneath the folds of a flag whose stars represent each State in our 
Union. If we strike out of existence a> single State, we make that 
flag a falsehood.. When we extinguish the name of any of the 
original thirteen States, we dishonor the historic stripes of our 
National banner. Let the treasonable task of defacing our flag be 
left to those who war upon our Government, and who would destroy 
the unity of our country. 

Faith to our armies and to our citizens demands that we keep sacred 
the solemn pledge made to our people and to the civilized world 
when we engaged in this bloody war, " that it was n<Jt waged in any 
spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or 
purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights of established 
institutions in those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy 
of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, 
equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired ; and that as 
soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease." 


Governor Seymour at the Opening of the Army Relief 
Bazaar, Albany, N. Y., February 22, 1864. 

Appropriateness of the Occasions-Historical Sketch — Albany and the sacking 
of Schenectady in 1690 — Albany the Birthplace of the American Union — 
The American Flag first borne into Battle in Defence of Albany — Charit- 
able Purposes of the Bazaar — Charity a patriotic Agent unequalled — 
Virtues nourished by War — Women's sympathy with Suffering. 

Govkknoe Seymour said: — 

Upon a day sacred to the memory of our greatest and purest 
statesman, upon a spot made famous by historical incidents, we 
meet for a purpose which appeals to our liveliest sympathy. It is 
fit that the capital of a great State, which furnishes so large a share 
of the armies of our country, and which is so numerously represented 
amid the siek and; wounded of our hospitals, and among the graves of 
our battle-fields, should be prominent in efforts to soften the calami- 
ties of war. 

Upon this occasion the historical events connected with this city 
and the adjacent towns are brought back to our memories. Albany 
is. the oldest city in the thirteen States, and with the exception of 
St. Augustine, in Florida, the oldest town in our .Union; for the 
earlier settlement of Jamestown, in Virginia, has ceased to exist as a 
municipality. Before the Pilgrims landed upon Plymouth Rock, and 
before the, foundations of our great commercial metropolis were laid 
at the mouth of the Hudson, a trading-post was established at this 
point, and for years it was the most important commercial place 
within the limits of our State. 

ARMY RELIEF BAZAAR, FEB. 22, 1864. 213 

It is not to its antiquity, and to its long-continued identification 
with the interests of our country, to which I wish to call your atten- 
tion, but to some incidents in its history, recalled by the occasion 
which draws us together. In 1600, in this month of February, one 
hundred and seventy-four years ago, there came a midnight cry for 
help from the burning town of Schenectady ; and the panting messen- 
gers who came along the pathway leading from Albany to that 
city, which ran along by the very spot upon which we now Stand, 
told of the massacre of its inhabitants by Indian savages and French 
allies. The alarmed citizens of this place hurried to the protection 
of Fort Frederick, which stood on this ground ; and the ancestors of- 
many of those who I see before me, whose names are still familiar in 
your social circles, in your churches, and in your public organizations, 
met to devise measures of relief for the sick, the suffering, the wounded, 
and the dying of a neighboring town, and to adopt measures for the 
support of those who should go out to combat against the savage 
enemies. Many of their descendants, bearing those ancient and 
honorable names, meet here to-night for a kindred purpose. That 
long lapse of years, and those far-removed generations, at this mo- 
ment seem freshly linked together by this coincidence of place and 

A little later another event occurred within this city of still greater 
significance, and still more closely connected with this occasion. The 
people of the different colonies,, living under distinct governments at 
the outset, were estranged from each other. Separated by distances 
which at that day were overcome with difficulty ; made up of those 
different nationalities and conflicting creeds, there was among them 
but little intercourse,, and no concert of action. Alarmed by a threat- 
ened combination of savage tribes, which menaced the safety if not 
the existence of the colonies, they sent delegates to a convention held 
in this city. Benjamin Franklin was its presidirig officer. This was 
the first distinct movement to a union among the colonies, looking to 
strength and protection from united council and combined effort. 

Thus Albany became the birthplace of the Union. In God's name 
then let it be upheld and cherished here! The first time that the 
stars and stripes were ever displayed from our National banner — 
the first time that its emblems of State sovereignty and National 
unity were ever given to the winds of heaven — the first time that that 
flag was ever displayed, which how kindles the enthusiasm and patri- 
otism of the American in whatever part of the world he may see it, 
and under whose folds, in devotion to its sacred import, a million of 
men have battled within the last three years — that flag was borne 
into the dangers of the battle-field in, the defence of this city. It 
was also first used to defeat an effort to divide the united colonies. 
For the purpose of gaining possession of the line of the Hudson 
River and the control of Lake Chnmplain, the British cabinet de- 
vised a combined movement upon this city. Its fleets were to ascend 
the Hudson. Its savage allies, under St; Leger, were to come down 
the Valley of the Mohawk. Its disciplined armies; under Burgoyne, 
meet the co-operating forces at this point, and thus sever the Eastern 
colonies from the rest of our country. The point to be reached by 
this great combined movement was the spot upon which we stand. 
This most formidable attempt upon our National existence was de- 


feated upon the plains of Saratoga, and the threefold attack upon 
Albany was baffled and defeated. It was in that battle of Saratoga 
that our National flag was first used. 

If we regard, then, the object for which, we are assembled, and the 
relationship which that object bears to the Union of our country and 
its glorious flag, we find that the associations which cluster round 
this spot are all in fit keeping, and well' calculated to excite our in- 
terest and our enthusiasm. 

The objects of those who have engaged in this enterprise are char- 
itable. Those who meet here hold conflicting views with regard to 
the affairs of the Government ; but whatever these differences may be, 
there can be no doubt as to the duty which rests upon us all to care 
for the sick, to relieve the wounded, to comfort those in prisons. 
Whoever has visited a battle-field when the fearful strife is over, may 
feel, but he cannot tell how much relief is given by the simplest 
acts of charity ; how a cup of cold water has relieved that intolerable 
anguish from thirst ; how a little shelter from a burning sun, or pro- 
tection from a driving storm, can save a life which trembles nponthe 
verge of existence. -The smallest contribution to this purpose may, 
perchance, coming at the opportune moment, do a work of charity and 
benevolence which, at other times, a fortune could not do. But 
aside from this direct relief, who can foresee what other good may 
spring from the influences of a kindly charity ; how it may tell upon 
the morals, the patriotism, and the tone of onr army. Nay, more, 
who can say that it may not save our National existence, perhaps, 
when the wisdom of cabinets and statesmen fail. When war may 
make ineffectual sacrifice of blood and treasure, it may be that acts 
of charity like these, seeking out the wounded and the dying upon 
the battle-field, when the struggle is over and passions are hushed, 
and helpless foemen lie side by side ; when every trace of rage and 
enmity has passed away, and common suffering brings again 
fraternal regard-i-who can say when, at such a time as this, your 
agents go forth over this terrible scene of strife and bloodshed, and 
forgetting all differences, see only suffering humanity before them, 
giving relief alike to foemen and to friend — who that believes in 
Christian charity and Christian truth shall say that these things 
may not again bring peace to our land, restore our Union, and give 
ns back unimpaired the Government which our fathers framed. 

[The Governor referred to the cordiality with which the neighboring 
cities had laid aside all local jealousies, and spoke in terms of just 
compliment to their zeal in the movement. He continued] : — 

The brightest and the kindliest virtues grow up strongly in connec- 
tion with the violence and horrors of war, as the brightest, freshest 
flowers flourish upon the very edge of the everlasting glaciers. The 
virtues of gentleness and charity have ever been strikingly connected 
with martial life. Indeed the courtesies of life are most traceable to 
the usages of the camp. The very dangers of the battle-field com- 
pel an observance of acts of courtesy, of kindness and protection. 
Beyond all other men, the soldier values the virtues of mercy and 
gentleness. When the Saviour hung upon the cross, when the priest 
and Pharisee mocked his sufferings, of all who looked on, a soldier 
alone discerned his divinity, when he heard him pour forth a prayer 
for his enemies. 


Women, withdrawn from the conflicts which bewilder and distract 
thecounsels of those in public life, and free from the passions and 
prejudices which disturb the minds of men, look with sadness and sor- 
row upon events which carry mourning into their houses. With un- 
tiring devotion they have filled this ample hall with evidences of their 
taste, their industry and skill. Theirs is no discriminating charity. 
Upon the battle-field or in the hospital they see only suffering fellow- 
beings. There it knows no foeman. It is fit that this city, thus as- 
sociated with many of the most glorious incidents in the history of 
our country, should be among the foremost in a work of Christianity, 
of humanity and patriotism. Above all, it is fitting that woman 
should thus come forward to show that she is ready and anxious, by 
kindness and love, to soften the horrors and ravages of war. It is 
becoming, too, that neighboring cities, laying aside all feelings of 
rivalry, should thus generously aid in this work. Thereupon, in pur- 
suance of the invitation of your committee, and as Chief Magistrate of 
the State, I do dedicate this edifice to the great purposes of patriotism 
and charity, and I offer the fervent prayer to Almighty God that it 
may not only relieve the sick and wounded, but by its gentle influ- 
ences may touch the hearts of those in rebellion ; restoring our Union, 
giving new life and vigor to the Government of our fathers, and mak- 
ing us again a great, united, prosperous and happy people. 

Governor Seymour on the Payment of the Interest of 
the State Debt in Coin. 

special message to the legislattjee. 

Executive Department, ) 
Albany, April 22, 1864.. j 

To the Legislattjbe : — My attention has been called to a concur- 
rent resolution, which has passed both branches of the Legislature, in 
the following words : 

" Whereas, All the stocks issued by this State were made payable and negotiable in 
this State ; therefore, 

" Resolved, That no distinction should be made between the foreign and; domestic 
holders of such bonds as to the currency in which the principal and interest thereon 
should be paid." 

To the principle laid down in this resolution, in terms, there can be 
no objection offered. All the creditors of the State, whether they be 
of our own people or foreign, should be alike paid ; paid promptly 
and in full all that was promised them. 

The Legislature, last year, adopted a concurrent resolution on this 
subject, in the following words : 

" Resolved, That the interest accruing on so much of the State debt od the first day 
of April as was on the first day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, held by 
persons residing out of the United States, and is still held by them, be paid in gold or 
its equivalent." 


An appropriation -was made for the purchase of coin to an extent 
sufficient to enable the Comptroller to pay in gold the interest on the 
stocks of New York, held by persons residing abroad ; and only to 
that extent. Although the resolution of last year did not in terms 
forbid the payment of the interest due to our creditors residing, in 
this country, in coin, yet the absence of any appropriation for the 
purpose, obliged the Comptroller to forego such payment. In practice, 
a distinction was thus made between the non-resident credito,r and 
the resident creditor. We kept faith with the stranger who had 
trusted us ; we broke faith only with those of our own household. 

The effect of the resolution of this year, in the absence of any 
appropriation, will be, that no part of the interest will be paid, as it 
was promised to be paid, to wit,, in coin or its equivalent. When 
we sought the markets of the world with our securities, we pledged 
ourselves to redeem them in the currency of the world. The partial 
neglect of plighted faith last year is now to be followed by an open 
refusal to pay any of our promises according to their plain sense. 
The disgrace of last year was limited ; it was kept within ourselves ; 
now our shame and dishonor are to be borne in the face of the 

I look upon this matter as of so much moment to the welfare and to 
the character of New York and of its people, that I feel constrained to 
ask you to give the subject a reconsideration ; and to urge you to pass 
a concurrent resolution that shall enable the Comptroller to pay all 
the interest which 'may fall due before the next session of the Legis- 
lature in coin. In this way your resolution of this year can be carried 
into effect consistently with the good credit of the State, and "no dis- 
tinction " will " be made between foreign and domestic holders " of 
the bonds. If you do not do this, let me urge you to provide, at 
least, for the interest that is due residents of other countries being 
paid in coin. 

The refusal to pay in coin to our citizens may justify itself to some 
minds, although not to mine, as a measure of quasi taxation — special, 
discriminating, and unfair, but excused by our present extraordinary 
condition. In dealing with our creditors in other countries, no such 
considerations can come in. We have over them no legitimate power 
of taxation; these creditors of ours have no voice nor part in our 
political action ; we have no claim upon them that they should take 
a share in the misfortunes that befall us in our career. They are not 
of our household, nor bound to take part of our domestic calamities 
upon themselves. The burdens and the misfortunes of this war belong 
to us ; it is ungenerous to shift any portion of them upon others who 
are not a part of us. These foreign creditors of ours are strangers 
who lent us their money when we wanted it ; upon no security but 
our word of honor. If we do not pay them back their money to the 
strict letter of our bargain we incur a shame that can never be re- 
moved from us. We deprive New York of an element of strength 
which heretofore has been wisely used, and which its people have 
found profitable, to wit, its unquestioned credit. 

Principle and policy unite to urge the action I recommend to you. 
It is the only way in which the State can, in truth, fulfil its contracts. 
It is the only way in which the State can keep itself in a position to 
go into the market hereafter decently as a borrower. 


The State is even now, in the market for money to pay its bounties 
to volunteers. The whole amount of its appropriation I urge upon 
you will be more than repaid in the first negotiation the State may 
make, by the enhanced price of its securities. We shall lose more in 
our immediate transactions than the cost of providing the coin for 
this interest. Not only our future profit but our immediate gain will 
be served by adhering now to the strictest letter of our contracts. 
The saving proposed by not paying in coin is small and temporary, 
while the dishonor is lasting, and the pecuniary loss, consequent upon 
this dishonor, will be in the end enormous. 

Bad faith on the part of New York, the leading member of our 
confederacy, must inevitably weaken very greatly, if it do not destroy, 
the credit of our Government securities in foreign markets. Com- 
pared-with the importance of this .State action in its effect upon the 
credit of the Government, the cost of paying our interest in coin is 
insignificant. Aside from the consideration of interest or policy, our 
duty, in my judgment, is plain. It is to pay the debts of the State ; 
to pay them in precisely the mode in which they were promised, to 
be paid ; to keep the honor of the State unsullied; and to this plain 
duty we should be true, cost what it may. 

Horatio Seymour. 


Executive Department, Albany, April 23, 1864. ' 

Sir : — The Legislature having made no provision for the payment of 
the interest on the* State debt, as it should be paid, in coin, and 1 the 
Comptroller having no funds which he can apply to the purchase of 
coin for the purpose, as a last resort I appeal to the men of capital, 
the bankers, the merchants, and others of the people of our great 
State, who have its honor at heart, to provide means by voluntary 
contribution, whereby at least so much of the interest as belongs to 
nop-resident creditors, if not the whole, maybe paid promptly in gold 
or its equivalent. 

Unless this is done, the honor of New York is lost. 

In wealth and numbers, in the ability to pay, New York stands far 
above every other State in the Union. Other States inferior in means, 
do not find the obligations of the hour too great for an honest per- 
formance. If New York falters now, it can claim no indulgent opin- 
ion of the world — the State brands itself with dishonesty. 

For the purpose of showing the history of our legislative action 
upon this question, I append the messages sent by me to the Legis- 
lature last year, and at its present session. To you, who are identified, 
in the minds of the commercial world, with the character and credit 
of our noble State, to whom the honor of New York must be as your 
own, I appeal that you save the State from this lasting disgrace. I 
ask the bankers and merchants of our great metropolis to act in this 
matter. It is due to their future credit and their future pride, that 
they advance the money which is needed to this end. 

In the hands of the active and energetic men of New York, -whose 
spirit is always prompt to noble undertakings, the honor of our State 
is now left. 


Let the; stranger, who trusted to our honor, be paid to the last 
penny of our bargain. 

I have faith that whatever money may be so contributed will be 
only lent. Better counsels will prevail among our legislators, and the 
State will repay what is now advanced. 

Horatio Seymour. 

General Order of Gov. Seymour Relative to the Death 
of Gen. Wadsworth. 

Albany, May 10, 1864. 

I AiorouifCE, with painful feelings, the loss of Gen. James S. Wads- 
worth, in the recent battles on the Rapidan. He met death bravely, 
at the head of the forces under his command. A leading and wealthy 
citizen, he exercised a wide influence by the vigor and energy of his 
character. As a public man, he was always decided and resolute in 
demanding purity of. legislation, and an economical and wise adminis- 
tration of the affairs of our own State. Long prominent among us in 
civil life, when the war broke out, he was prompt among the first to 
join the arnfy. From the outset an ardent supporter of the war, to 
him belongs the merit of freely perilling his own person in upholding 
the opinions which he advocated. Assigned at once to a high milita- 
ry position, he has been, up to the day of his death, actively and 
earnestly devoting himself to the performance of his military duties. 
As a mark of respect for his memory, the American flag will be dis- 
played at half-mast on the capitol, and upon all the arsenals of the 
State. Hobatio Seymour, 

Governor and Commander-in-chief. 

J. B. Stonehouse, A. A. Gen. 

The Suspension of Democratic Newspapers in New York. 

governor seymour to district-attorney hall. 

State of New Yokk, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, May 23, 1864. J 

To A. Oakey Hall, Esq., District- Attorney of the County of New 
York: — Sir — I am advised that on the 19th instant the office of the 
Jowrnal of Commerce, and that of the New York World, were 
entered by armed men, the property of the owners seized, and the 
premises held by force for several days. It is charged that these acts 


of violence were done without due legal process,' and without the 
sanction of State or National laws. 

If this he true, the offenders must he punished. 

In the month of July last, when New York was a scene of violence, 
I gave warning that "the laws of the State must be enforced, its 
peace and order maintained, and the property of its citizens protected 
at every hazard." The laws were enforced at a fearful cost of blood 
and life. 

The declaration I then made was not intended merely for that 
occasion, or against any class of men. It is one of an enduring 
character, to be asserted at all times, and against all conditions of 
citizens, without favor or distinction. Unless all are made to bow to 
the law, it will be respected by none. Unless all are made secure in 
their rights of person' and- property, none can be protected. If the 
owners of the above-named journals have violated State or National 
laws, they must be proceeded against and punished hy those laws. 
Any action against them, outside of legal procedures, is criminal. 
At this time of civil war and disorder, the majesty of the law must 
be upheld, or society will sink into anarchy. Our soldiers in the field 
will battle in. vain for constitutional liberty, if persons, or property, or 
opinions, are trampled upon at home. We must not give up home- 
freedom, and thus. disgrace the American character, while our citizens 
in the army are pouring out their blood to maintain the National 
honor. They must not find when they come back that their personal 
and fireside rights have been despoiled. 

In addition to the general obligation to enforce the laws of the 
land, there are local reasons why they must be upheld in the city of 
New York. If they are not, its commerce and greatness will be 
broken down. If this great centre of wealth, business and enterprise 
is thrown into disorder and bankruptcy, the National Government 
will be paralyzed. What makes New York the heart of our country ? 
Why are its pulsations felt at the extremities of our land ? Not 
through its position alone, but because of the world-wide belief that 
property is safe within its limits, from waste by mobs and from 
spoliation by Government. The laborers in the workshop, the mine, 
and in the field, on this continent and in every other part of the 
globe, send to its merchants, for sale or exchange, the products of 
their toil. These merchants are made the trustees of the wealth of 
millions living in every land, because it is believed that in their hands 
property is safe, under ; the shield of laws administered upon princi- 
ple and according to known usages. This great confidence has 
grown up in the course of many years by virtue of a painstaking, 
honest performance of duty by the business men of your city. In 
this they have been aided by the enforcement of laws based upon 
the solemnly-recorded pledges that "the right of the people to be 
secured in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasona- 
ble searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and that no one shall 
be deprived of liberty or property, without due process of law." 
For more than eighty years have we as a people been building up 
this universal faith in the sanctity of our jurisprudence. It is this 
which carries our commerce upon every ocean, and brings back to 
our merchants the wealth of every clime. It is now charged that, in 
utter disregard of the sensitiveness of that faith, at a moment when 


the National credit is undergoing a fearful trial, the organs of com- 
merce are seized and held, in violation of constitutional pledges ; that 
this act was done in a public mart 'of your great city, and was 
thus forced upon the notice of the commercial agents of the world, 
and they were shown in an offensive way that' property is seized by 
military force and arbitrary orders,' These things are more hurtful to 
the' National honor and> strength than the loss of battles. The world 
will confound such acts with the principles of our Government, and 
the folly and crimes of officials will be looked upon as the natural re- 
sults of the spirit of our institutions. Our State and local authorities 
must repel this ruinous inference. If the merchants of New York 
are not, willing to have their harbor sealed up and their commerce 
paralyzed, they must unite in this demand for the security of persons 
and property. If this is not done, the world will withdraw from 
their keeping its treasures and its commerce. History has taught 
all that official violation of law in times of civil war and disorder, 
goes before acts of spoliation and other measures which destroy 
the safeguards of commerce. 

I call upon you to look into the facts connected with the seizure 
of the Journal of Commerce, and of the New York World. If 
these acts were illegal, the offenders must be punished. In making 
your inquiries, and in prosecuting the parties implicated, you will 
call upon the sheriff of the county, and the heads .of the police 
department for any needed force or assistance. The failure to give 
this by any official under my control, will be deemed a sufficient 
cause ,for his removal. 

Very respectfully yours, &c.v 

Horatio Seymour. 

governor Seymour's second letter to district-attorney hall. 

Executive Chamber, 
Albany June 26, 1864. 

A. Oakey Hall, Esq., District-Attorney of the City and County 
of New York :-^Sir — In the matter of . the seizure of the offices of 
The World and Journal of Commerce, the grand jury; in disregard 
of their oaths " to diligently ,inquire into and true presentment make 
of all such matters and things as should be given them in charge," 
have refused to make such inquiries, and declare that " it is inexpe- 
dient to examine into the subject referred to in the charge of the 
court" with respect to such seizures. It becomes my duty, under 
the express requirements of the iConstitution, " to take care that the 
laws of the . State are . faithfully executed." If the grand jury, in 
pursuance of the demands of the law and the obligations of their 
oaths, had inquired into the matter given them in charge by the court 
and the public prosecutor, their decision, whatever it might have 
been, would have been entitled to respect. As they have refused to 
do their duty, the subject of the seizure of these journals should at 
once be brought before some proper magistrate. If you wish any 
assistance in the prosecution of these investigations, it will be given 
to you. 

As it is a matter of public interest that violations of the laws of the 


State be punished, the views or wishes of the parties immediately- 
affected must not be suffered to influence the action of public officers. 
If, through fear or other motives, they are unwilling to aid you in 
getting at facts, it will be yortr duty to compel their attendance as 
witnesses in behalf of the people. 

Kespectfiilly yours, 

Horatio Seymour. 

Reception to Veteran Volunteer Regiments. 


Amaitt, June 30, 1864. 
Dear Sir: — I am informed that there is a movement on foot in 
your city to give to our veteran volunteers who have recently re-en- 
listed, and are now at home on furlough, some form of public recep- 
tion as a mark of our appreciation of their patriotic services, and that 
you. are actively engaged in the matter. The proposition has my 
cordial sympathies, and J trust that all the civil authorities and mili- 
tary officers of the State will heartily co-operate with you. You are 
at liberty to make use of this note in any quarter you think proper, 
as an expression of my wishes on the subject. 
Truly yours, &c, 

Horatio Seymour. 
T. Roosevelt, 94 Maiden Lane. 

Governor Seymour and the Call for 12,000 Men for 
One Hundred Days. 

order Directing the recruitment of militia regiments. 

State of New ' Yobk, Executive Department, J 
AlBANTj Jflly8, 1864. J 

The events of the past three years have shown the necessity of a 
well-organized militia to uphold the laws, to put down disorders, 
to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions. The State of New 
York has been called upon three times to furnish its militia to protect 
the National capital, and to drive back invasion of neighboring States. 
The fourth call has now been made by the President. 

Heretofore the burden has been thrown upon the cities of New 
York and Brooklyn, with the exception of a few men sent from the 
counties of Ulster, Greene, Albany, Dutchess, Columbia, Erie, and 


Chautauqua. Other parts of the State have done nothing in. answer to 
these calls of the President ; neither are they in condition to * dis- 
charge their duties to the State. This is not only unequal and unjust, 
but in, violation of the theory of our Government, and it must not 
be longer continued. The calls made by the General Government 
must be met by every county in proportion to its members ; and in 
the same degree must every county be in a condition to enforce the 
laws of the State, the decisions of the judiciary, to maintain peace 
and order, and to put down resistance of lawful authority. 

It is my duty to carry out. the laws of the State, providing for the 
enrolment of the militia, the organization of the National Guard, 
and for the public defence. 

In pursuance of the provisions of said act, I do, therefore, order 
and direct the commandants of each company (district, in the First, 
Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth divisions, 
to accept sufficient volunteers, should the same offer within ten days, 
to raise their several companies, and maintain the same at the maxi- 
mum number provided by law ; and if sufficient shall not offer, 
then a sufficient number. shall be drawn from the. reserve militia of 
said districts, under the enrolment made pursuant to' the law of this 
State, and which enrolment commandants will complete without delay. 

Horatio Seymour, 
Governor and Commander-in-chief; 

Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General S. N. Y, 

orders to the first and second divisions. 

Adjutant-General's Office, ) - 
Albany, July 9, 1864. j 
General Orders No. 13. 

1. The President of the United States having called for twelve 
thousand men from this State to serve for one hundred days, it is 
determined to send volunteers from throughout the State, in order to 
relieve those organizations which have heretofore so promptly re- 
sponded. To effect this the National Guard is to be tilled to its 
maximum strength. * ' 

When organizations are efficient, volunteers will be asked for 
accordingly. Major-General Charles W. Sandford, commanding First 
Division National Guard of the State of New York, headquarters 
New York City, will call for three thousand volunteers to serve one 
hundred days, as the quota from his command — and cause these 
troops to take the field by regiments as early as practicable. 

2. Major-General H. B. Duryea, commanding the Second Division 
National Guard of the State of New York, Brooklyn,, L. I., will fur- 
nish one thousand eight hundred and fifty volunteers from his com- 
mand, as the quota from the Second Division, and despatch them, to 
the field by regiments. 

3. Clothing will be furnished by Brigadier-General S. V. Talcott, 
Quartermaster-General, No. 5 1 Walker street, New York. Arms and 
accoutrements by Brigadier-General James A, Farrell, Commissary- 
General, State Arsenal, cor. Thirty-fifth street andSeVenth avenue, New 


York. Application for subsistence before muster should be made upon 
Brigadier-General William Hays, A. A. P. M. General, New York city. 
After muster, upon Colonel A. B. Eaton, United States Commis- 
sary Department, No. 6 State street, New York. Transportation 
will be furnished by Major Stewart Van Vliet, United States Quar- 
termaster, No. 6 State street, New York. 

4. Commandants of regiments will give the necessary orders for- 
bidding clothing, arms, and accoutrements belonging to the State to 
be taken to the field. 

5. Reports will be made to these headquarters as early as practica- 
ble, naming the regiments volunteering, that orders may be given to 
the proper departments to meet necessary demands. 

6. Regiments as fast as organized will proceed to Washington City, 
and report for orders. 

By order, of the Commander-in-chief. 

John T. Sphag^ Adjutant-General. 


State, of Njew York; Executive Department, ) 
Albany, July 12, 1864. J 

On the 8th instant, I ordered that the several military companies 
be increased to the maximum numbers. I now appeal to the people 
of New York f to carry out this order by joining Jhe National Guard, 
or by such other measures as will give that organization the numbers 
required by law. Unless this is done at once, I cannot respond to the 
call now made by the President of the United States. 

The National Constitution declares that a well-regulated militia is 
necessary to the security of a free State. If we had heeded this 
truth we should not have been exposed to invasion, to the disgrace of 
riots, and to the hazards of still greater calamities. The negligence 
and false economy which led us 'to disregard this warning have 
been fearfully punished. The cost of arming and equipping the 
National Guard would have been trifling compared with the amount 
which New York must now pay as its quota of the expense of 
driving back the armies which now threaten the Nationahcapital. 

Let us be warned by the errors of the past. I implore all citi- 
zens to lay aside passion and prejudice, and to unite in carrying 
out a law clearly demanded by the honor, the interest, the safety 
of the State and nation. In many parts of New York this duty 
has been utterly neglected, and the burden , of answering calls for 
the militia has been thrown upon a few sections of the- State. 

In this time of civil war we are perplexed with many questions 
which are beyond the grasp of any mind. We see them from dif- 
ferent standpoints, and reach, conflicting conclusions. It is only 
ignorance and bigotry which- will make these differences and views 
occasions for controversies and reproach. However we may differ 
upon other points, there should be no conflict of opinion as to the 
duties we owe to the State and National Governments. These are 
clearly set forth in the Constitution of our country, in the following 
terms : 

Art. 6, Sub-division 2. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which 
shall be made in pursuauce thereof and all treaties made under the authorities of the 


United States, shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judge's of every State 
shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. 

Art. 3, Sec. 2, Provides,- -For the purpose of defining the limits of the authority of 
the General Government: "Tlie judicial power shall extend tp all cases in law and 
equity arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the treaties 
made under their authority." 

Art. 10 of the amendments declares :" The powers not delegated to the United 
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the 
States respectively, or to the people." 

Every good citizen will yield an equal respect and r obedience to 
each of these provisions. When either of them is disregarded, our 
country will be overwhelmed with anarchy and confusion. I exhort 
all not to allow their passions, their prejudices, and suspicions, to in- 
crease the dangers which overhang us. Let us cordially unite in 
measures essential to the preservation of the National unity, the pow- 
er of our State, the peace and good order of society. Foremost 
among them is the organization of those liable to duty, without re- 
spect to creed or political opinions, into local military companies. In 
order to meet the constitutional demands of the General Government, 
to secure the enforcement of the laws of the State, and afford secu- 
rity to the lives and homes of our citizens, this must be done at once. 

Hoeatio Seymour. 

Proclamation of National Past, August 4, 1864. 

The President of the United States having se*t apart Thursday, 
the 4th inst., for National fasting, humiliation and prayer, I, Horatio 
Seymour, Governor of the State of New York, do recommend that 
the day be observed throughout this State, with suitable religious so- 

Let us repent of our manifold sins and offences, and humbly pray 
that Almighty God will put down all rebellious resistance to rightful 
authority ; all sectional hatred, all bigotry and malice ; all hurtful 
ambition or partisan purposes which tend to discord and strife; that 
He will restore the union of our States, and fraternal affection be- 
tween the inhabitants thereof, and give peace to our land. Acknowl- 
edging the justice of His punishment for our national and personal 
sins, let us entreat of Him to have mercy upon us, to turn away His 
wrath, to stop the shedding of blood, to return our soldiers to their 
homes, to relieve the sick, wounded and suffering ; to comfort those 
in mourning ; to reward the industry of our people ; to relieve them from 
heavy burdens ; to make them safe in their persons and homes from all 
violence and oppression, and to give the protection of law to all con- 
ditions of men. 

To these ends let us pray that God will give wisdom to our rulers, 
purity to our legislators, uprightness and boldness' to our judges, 
meekness and charity to our clergy, and virtue, intelligence and god- 
liness to our people. 

In witness whereof, T have hereunto affixed the privy seal of the 
State, at the City of Albany, the 1st day of August, in the year of 
our Lord 1864. 

Hoeatio Seymoub. 

By the Governor : D. Willees, Jr., Private Secretary. 


Governor Seymour and the Proposed Draft of 1864. 


State of- New York, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, August 3. 1864. J 

Hon. E. M. Stanton,- Secretary of War: — Sir— It is my duty to 
call your attention to the enrolments made with a view to the draft 
lately ordered by the President. In some of the congressional dis- 
tricts they are especially excessive and injurious. The average quotas 
in thirty-one congressional districts in New York are 2,881 ; in Mas- 
sachusetts and New Hampshire they are 2,161 ; in Pennsylvania, 
2,571. It will be seen that the average demand made in every con- 
gressional district in the State is for 310 men per district more than 
is required for Pennsylvania, and for 714 men per district more than 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I name these States, as I have 
not been able to procure the quotas assigned elsewhere. 

There are no differences in the character of the population of these 
States to account for these discrepancies. 

The most oppressive enrolments appear in the congressional dis- 
tricts in the cities of New York and Brooklyn. The average demand 
made upon these is for 3,867 men each, while in Massachusetts the 
average demand made upon each district is for 2,167 men. The cen- 
sus returns show that the proportion of aliens and females in the large 
towns should make their quota less, not greater, than in other sections. 
These returns are confirmed by the character of their respective 
populations. Not only are aliens numerous in New York and Brook- 
lyn, but females make a larger proportionate number than elsewhere, 
as they find more employment in workshops, or as domestics. 

If a comparison is made between cities of different States, the dis- 
proportion of men demanded from New York and Brooklyn is still 
more startling. While in these cities twenty-six per cent, of the 
population is enrolled, in Boston only twelve and a half per cent., or 
less than one-half that ratio, are made liable to be drafted.. The ten 
congressional districts of Massachusetts are required to furnish, under 
the last call, only 21,670 men. The first ten congressional districts in 
this State are called on for 35,954, making an excess of 14,284. It is 
clear that great injustice is done under these enrolments. I do not 
mean to find fault with those who made them in New York and 
Brooklyn. I know that what they state is true ; that it is not possi- 
ble to avoid the enrolment there of persons who are not liable to be 
drafted, because they are aliens or non-residents. Those whose nnnies 
are thus erroneously put down have no interest in correcting the lists, 
while the fact is, that they swell the enrolments and bring grievous 
burdens upon the district to which they are charged. 

The draft makes a heavy drain upon all parts of our country. In 
our cities it is a terrible affliction. A great proportion of the in- 
habitants live upon daily wages, which tbey must receive with regu- 
larity to give food, fuel and shelter to their families. These can only 
be obtained by cash payments. The pay of the soldiers, which is 



made at irregular times, and, perhaps, at comparatively long periods, 
•will not provide the necessary support to their families in cities like 
New York and Brooklyn, and they are frequently broken up and 
ruined. Every consideration of justice and humanity demands that 
unequal burdens should not be thrown upon them. 

It is proper I should say that since the beginning of this civil war 
these cities have not only furnished their full quotas, but are to-day- 
entitled to a credit of about three thousand three years' men. It 
would be an act of justice to count each of these men against three 
men under the present call for service for one year. But these cities 
have done more. They have on repeated occasions promptly answered 
the calls of the department in times of peculia* peril. They have 
been enabled to do this, because, at great expense, they have kept, up 
a well-disciplined militia. The cost of this has been as much for tbe 
advantage of the United States as for the city governments. 

These excessive enrolments also subject to heavy taxation those 
who have been foremost in filling the National treasury and giving to 
the Government the money which has enabled it to pay its soldiers. 
I know that you will agree with me that New York and Brooklyn 
have strong claims, not only upon the equity, but upon the gratitude 
of those who are administering the National affairs. 

In answer to an appeal which I made to you last year to correct a 
similar wrong, you appointed William F. Allen of this State, Chaun- 
cey Smith of Massachusetts, and John Love of Indiana, a commission 
to examine the enrolment of 1863. They submitted an able report, 
showing its great injustice, and you relieved' these cities from a 
great wrong. I urge that some similar plan be adopted now, 
whereby the quotas of this State, which, especially in the districts I 
have named, including New York city and Brooklyn, appear to be 
unequal and oppressive, may be adjusted equitably in proportion to 
the demands made upon other parts of the country. Since the en- 
rolments were made there has been no opportunity to correct them. 
Neither can this be done in time. While names may be added to the 
lists, those which are improperly placed there cannot be stricken off. 
In large cities the names in excess cannot be detected, as the citizens 
are not familiar with the names and condition of their neighbors. 

In the country it is otherwise. 

Truly yours, &c, 

Horatio Seymour. 


'State or New York, Executive Depabtment, ) 
Albany, August 5, 1864. J 

Sir : — I send you a copy of a communication which I have ad- 
dressed to the Secretary of War with respect to the quotas of your 
city. You will see by the facts stated therein, that great injustice 
has been done. The excessive enrolment falls heavily upon your 
population ; particularly so upon your laborers. They are entitled to 
the protection of State and city authorities, and of all who can ward 
off this great wrong. In addition to justice and humanity, there are 
other considerations well worth your attention. The withdrawal of 


36,000 able-bodied men from the first ten districts will disorganize 
labor, throw a large number of helpless families upon the public for 
support, and will be injurious alike to the morals and interests of 
your community. If your quota is raised by the payment of boun- 
ties, assuming that you give $300 for each one of 35,954 men called for 
from the first ten districts, it will amount to $10,786,200. Most of this 
must be paid by the cities of New York and Brooklyn. I am making 
an effort to have your quotas brought down to the standard of Mas- 
sachusetts. This would make a difference of more than 10,000 men, 
and a saving of at least $3,000,000. It is probable that you will have 
to pay $500 for substitutes. If this should be true, a correction of 
your quotas will save at least $5,000,000. 

I shall spare no effort to have justice done to your districts. Last 
year an important correction was made, which saved you from the 
payment of heavy taxation. Heretofore this department has felt the 
want of co-operation by those interested in its efforts to get justice 
done to different sections of our State. Indeed, these efforts have in 
many instances been thwarted by those who should have given assist- 
ance. To avoid the difficulty, I send you a copy of my letter to Mr. 
Stanton, and I trust you will look into the facts connected with the 
enrolment, and will take such steps as you may deem proper to pre- 
vent any unequal action toward your districts. The citizens of New 
York and Brooklyn cannot complain of the policy of the General 
Government in its legislation, or if the execution of laws is hurtful to 
them, if they do not show any interest in their own behalf, and clearly 
point out to those Who administer the Government, in what respect 
they are suffering by the policy of that Government, or in the execu- 
tion of its measures. I shall be happy at all times to furnish such 
facts and statistics as may be needed for these purposes, and I will 
send agents who can clearly explain everything connected with the 
enrolment and quota of your section of the State. 

Hobatio Seymour. 

Threatened Raid from Canada. 



Buffalo, August 9, 1864. 
To his Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York : — 
Sir — As citizens of Buffalo we deem it a duty which we owe alike 
to our city and country at large, to make an earnest appeal to your 
Excellency, and through you to the General Government, for military 
protection against an apprehended raid of rebels from Canada to 
burn our city and plunder its inhabitants. "We have learned through 
the Provost-Marshal's office here that a detective has been employed 
by that officer in Canada for seven weeks past, watching the move- 
ments of the rebels there, and that recently they seemed to be con- 


gregating on the Niagara frontier, apparently with some design of 
making a strike ; and Buffalo, so rich in its stores of grain and mer- 
chandise, and so utterly defenceless, offers many temptations to a 
marauding force composed of rebels from the Southern States, and 
deserters from our own army, many of whom, we are informed, are 
thoroughly depraved, in most destitute circumstances, and ready forany 
expedition that promises devastation and plunder with a hope of escape. 
After consultation by a few of our most prominent citizens, we 
have concluded that it was best to address your Excellency privately 
by letter, lest a more public manifestation of our defenceless condition 
might invite an attack before we are prepared to meet it. We beg 
leave to call your attention particularly to our situation. Our loca- 
tion is peculiar. We occupy the narrow strait through which most 
of the commerce between the East and West must pass, and it needs 
only to look at the twenty-seven elevators filled with grain, and which 
are indispensable to transfer thirty or forty millions of bushels that 
must arrive here before the close of navigation, to see that, if these be 
destroyed, it will be a National calamity, the effects of which will be 
felt to the remotest parts of the United States ; and they are neces- 
sarily of that combustible material, easily ignited, and once on fire, 
are so high that there can be little hope of extinguishing the flames. 
It is impossible to guard this frontier by anything short of military 
force acting under military discipline ; and while we would not pre- 
sume to dictate what should be done, we would respectfully suggest 
that means be immediately taken by the military authorities to 
ascertain definitely, by competent and skilful detectives, the plans 
and intentions of these rebels, and that the Canadian authorities — 
whom we believe to be friendly — be invited to co-operate in prevent- 
ing a raid from Canada on the United States ; and, above all, that a 
military force, adequate to our protection, be placed on this frontier. 
If troops cannot be spared from other places, we hope and trust that 
those raised here, comprising the Sixty-fifth and Seventy-fourth 
regiments, may be suffered to remain until their places can be supplied 
by others. 

Hoping that this communication will receive prompt attention, we 
remain your Excellency's most obedient servants, 

Henry W. Rogers. Wm. G. Faego, Mayor. 

John Ganson. Millard Fillmore. 

E. G. Spaulding. S. V. R. Watson. 

John Allen, Jr. S. D. Austin. 

P. L. Sternberg. Samuel F. Paatt. 

Gibson P. William. 

governor Seymour's replt. 

State of New York, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, August 12, 1864. j 

Gentlemen : — In answer to your letter with regard to the threat- 
ened danger to your city from refugees and others on the Canadian 
border, I have to say that immediate steps have been taken to place 
the militia of the State in a condition to repel an invasion of its soil. 


I have directed that the commanders of the different districts hold 
themselves in readiness to answer at once any call that may be made 
upon them. . As your city is exposed to injury from small parties of 
marauders and, incendiaries, it is proper that close watch should be 
kept by a sufficient number of men to prevent such forms of attack. 
I have issued orders that the two regiments belonging to Buffalo 
should remain in that city, and that a detail be made from them for 
guard duty. If you wijj send some proper person to this city to 
advise with me in regard to future measures, 1 will order such action 
as may be deemed necessary for your protection. 

Truly yours, &c, 


To Wi. G. Fakgo, Millabd Fillmore, John Ganson, and 
others, Buffalo, -N. Y. 

orders to general green. 

State op New York, .Inspector-General's Office,, ) 
, Albany, August 12, 1864, J 

To Brigadier-General John A. Gbeen, Commanding 24th Brigade, 
National' Guard, Syracuse : — General — The Governor being informed 
that refugees, deserters, and other evil-disposed persons are gathered 
in considerable numbers in the adjoining Canadian provinces, and 
that there is danger that they may elude the Canadian authorities and 
make an attaek upon some of our frontier towns, the northern bound- 
ary of the State, from the east line of the county of Monroe to the 
west line of the State of Vermont, is placed under your military 
charge. This will embrace the counties of Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego, 
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton, and this order will 
continue in force, unless revoked, until the brigades in the several 
districts embraced in the above counties shall respectively report at 
least two organized regiments. Xou will immediately make such 
arrangements as will secure to you the earliest information, and as 
will, in your judgment, best enable you to guard against any invasion 
of our country by marauders. If it shall become necessary to main- 
tain a patrol at any point, you will make such details from: the organ- 
ized regiments of the National Guard in your brigade, or from the 
district patrolled, as may be required for that purpose, reporting your 
action in the premises to the Commander-in-chief. Contracts for 
subsistence, should any become necessary, will be made by you, pur- 
suant to instructions from the Adjutant-General, who will issue such 
other and further orders in the premises as the exigency of the ser- 
vice may require. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Josiah T. Miller, Inspector-General. I 


Governor Seymour at the Democratic National Con- 
vention, Chicago, August 30, 1864. 


Why the Democratic Party should be restored to Power — Review of the Re- 
publican National Convention of 1860 — Mr. Lincoln's Administration 
incapable of Saving the Union — Causes of its Failure — Tribute to the 
Soldiers — Superior Qualifications of the Democracy to save the Union — 
Partisan Triumphs not sought — The Rights of Opponents to be respected. 

Gentlemen op the Contention : — I thank you for the high honor 
you have conferred upon me, in making me president of this body. 
The importance of the occasion has already been expressed in fitting 
words by your temporary chairman. I have not language to tell with 
what anxious solicitude the people of this country watch our pro- 
ceedings. The prayers of men and women in ten thousand homes go 
up to Heaven that we may be so guided in our deliberations, that our 
action may conduce to the restoration of our Union, to the return of 
peace, and the maintenance of liberty in this land. 

It is not for me to forecast your action — it is not forme to say what 
methods may be adopted to relieve this afflicted country of ours. 
But while I may not speak on that subject, I can, with propriety, al- 
lude to the sentiments which animate you all. There is no man here! 
who does not love the Union. There is no man here who does not 
desire peace. There is no man here who is not resolved to uphold the 
great principles of constitutional freedom. 

I know that the utmost importance attaches to all your proceedings. 
I know it is of vital consequence that you should select such men as 
your candidates as enjoy the confidence of the American people. But 
beyond platforms, and beyond candidates, there are other considera- 
tions of still greater significance and importance, When you wish to 
know what the policy of a party will be, you must strive to learn the 
passions and sentiments which animate that party. 

Four years ago, in this city, there was an assemblage of citizens 
from the different parts of our country, who met here for the purpose 
of placing in nomination a candidate for the Presidency. They put 
forth declarations that they would not interfere with the rights of the 
States of this Union. They did not intend to destroy our country — 
they did not mean to break down its institutions. But unhappily they 
were influenced by sectional prejudices, by fanaticism, by bigotry, and 
by intolerance, and we have found in the course of the last four years 
that their animating sentiments have overruled their declarations and 
their promises, and swept them on, step by step, until they have been 
carried on to actions from which at the outset they would have shrunk 
away with horror. 

Even now, when war has desolated our land, has laid its heavy bur- 
dens upon labor, when bankruptcy and ruin overhang us, they will 
not have Union except upon conditions unknown to our Constitution ; 
they will not allow the shedding of blood to cease, even for a little time, 
to see if Christian charity or the wisdom of statesmanship may not 


work out a method to save our country. Nay, more than this, they 
will not listen to a proposal for peace, which does not offer that which 
this Government has no right to ask. This Administration cannot now 
save this Union, if it would. It has, by its proclamations, by vindic- 
tive legislation, by displays of hate and passion, placed obstacles in its 
own' pathway which it cannot overcome, and has hampered its own 
freedom of action by unconstitutional acts. 

It cannot be said that the failure of its policy is due to the want of 
courage and devotion on the part of our armies. Never in the world's 
history have soldiers given up their lives more freely than have those 
of the armies which have battled for the flag of our Union in the 
Southern States. The world will hold that they have done all that 
arms can do, and had wise statesmanship secured the fruits of their 
victories, to-day there would have been peace in our land. 

But while our soldiers have desperately struggled to carry our 
banner southward to the Gulf of Mexico, even now the Government 
declares that rebellious discontent has worked northward to the 
shores of the great lakes. The guaranteed right of the people to 
bear arms has been suspended up to the very borders of Canada ; so 
that American servitude is put in bold contrast with British liberty. 
This Administration thus declares to the world it has now no faith in 
the people of States whose votes placed it in power ; and it also 
admits by such edict that those people have no faith in this Adminis- 
tration. While those in power, without remorse, sacrifice the blood 
and treasures of our people, they will not give up their own passions 
for the public good. 

This Union is not held asunder by military ambition. If our politi- 
cal troubles could be referred to the peaceful arbitrament of the con- 
tending armies in the field, our Union would be restored, the rights 
of States would be guaranteed, the sacredness of homes and persons 
again respected, and an insulted judiciary would again administer the 
laws of the land. Let not the ruin of our country be charged to our 
soldiers. It is not due to their teachings or their fanaticism. In my 
constant official intercourse with them, I have never heard uttered 
one sentiment of hatred toward the people of the South. Beyond all 
men, they value the blessings of peace and the virtues of mercy, of 
gentleness, and of charity ; while many who stay at home cry havoc, 
and demand that no mercy shall be shown. 

The bigotry of fanatics, and the intrigues of placemen, have made 
the bloody pages of the history of the past three years. But if the 
Administration cannot save this Union, we can. Mr. Lincoln values 
many things above the Union ; we put it first of all. He thinks a 
proclamation worth more than peace ; we think the blood of our peo- 
ple more precious than the edicts of the President. There are no hin- 
drances in our pathways to union and to peace. We demand no 
conditions for the restoration of our Union; we are shackled with no 
hates, no prejudices, no passions. We wish for fraternal relationships 
with the people of the South. We demand for them what we demand 
for ourselves— -the full recognition of the rights of States. We mean 
that every star on our Nation's banner shall shine with an equal 

In the coming election, men must decide with which of the two 
parties, into which bur people are divided, they will act. If they 


wish for Union, they will act with that party which does now and 
always did love and reverence that Union. If they wish for peace, 
they will act with those who sought to avert this war, and who now 
seek to restore good-will and harmony among all sections of our 
country. If they care for their rights as persons, and the sacredness 
of their homes, they will act with those who have stood up to resist 
arbitrary arrests, despotic legislation, and the overthrow of the judi- 
ciary. If, upon the other hand, they are willing to continue the pres- 
ent policy of Government and condition of affairs, let them act with 
that organization which made the present condition of our country. 
And there are many good men who will be led to do this by their 
passions and their prejudices ; and our land swarms with placemen, 
who will hold upon power and plunder with a deadly grasp. But as 
for us, we are resolved that the party who have made the history of 
our country since their advent to power seem like some unnatural 
and terrible dream, shall be overthrown. Four years ago it had its 
birth upon this spot. Let us see, by our action, that it shall die here 
where it was born. 

In the political contest in which we are now engaged, we do not 
seek partisan advantages. "We are battling for the rights of those 
who belong to all political organizations. We mean that their rights 
of speech shall be unimpaired, although that right may be used to 
denounce us. We intend that rights of conscience shall be protected, 
although mistaken views of duty may turn the temples of religion 
into theatres for partisan denunciation. We mean that home rights 
and the sacredness of the fireside shall be respected by those in author- 
ity, no matter what political views may be held by those who sit 
beneath their roof-trees. When the Democratic party shall have 
gained power, we shall not be less, but more tenacious upon these sub- 
jects. We have forborne much because those who are now charged 
with the conduct of public affairs knew but little about the principles 
of our Government. We are unwilling to present an appearance of 
factious opposition. But when we shall have gained power, that offi- 
cial who shall violate one principle of law, one single right of the 
humblest man in our land, shall be punished by the full rigor of the 
law ; it matters not if he sits in the presidential chair, or hold a humble 
office under our Government. 

We have had upon this floor a touching and significant proof of the 
folly of this Administration, who have driven from its support those 
upon whom it chiefly leaned at the outset of this rebellion, when 
their hopes, even for their own personal safety, hung upon the noble 
men of the border States, who, under circumstances most trying, sev- 
ered family relations and ancient associations to uphold the flag of 
our Union. Many of these men are members of this convention. 
They bear impressed upon their countenances and manifest in their 
persons the high and generous purposes which animate them; and yet 
it is true (great God, that it should be true !) that they are stung with 
a sense of the injustice and ingratitude of low and unworthy men, who 
have insulted and wronged them, their families, and their rights by 
vindictive legislation, or through the agency of miserable, dishonest 

Gentlemen, I trust that our proceedings -will be marked by har- 
mony. I believe we shall all be animated by the greatness of this 


occasion. It may be — in all probability it is true — that the future 
destinies of our country hang upon our action. ,Let this considera- 
tion inspire us with a spirit of harmony. God of our fathers bless us 
now; lift us above all personal considerations; fill us with a just sense 
of the great responsibilities which rest upon us, and give again to our 
land its union, its peace, and its liberty. 

I wish to say one word to the audience here assembled. The dele- 
gates who compose this convention have come up from different parts 
of the Union for the purpose of acting upon your most important in- 
terests. We are most happy that you should be the witnesses of our 
proceedings, bat one thing you must bear in mind, that you are not 
members of this body, and while our hearts will be cheered to find 
that patriotic sentiments are received as patriotic sentiments should 
be by the American people, you must not undertake to attempt to in- 
fluence the deliberations of the convention, or allow your feelings to 
take such forms of expression as are unbecoming in the presence of 
those upon whom rest the responsibilities of the occasion. 

[From the New York World Report] 

Several delegations having cast their votes for Horatio Seymour, 
when the call of the States had been gone through with, Governor 
Seymour remarked that, some gentlemen having done him the honor 
to name him for the nomination, it would be affectation to say that 
their expressions of preference did not give him pleasure. But he 
owed it to himself to say that, many months ago, he advised his 
friends in New York that, for various reasons, private and pub- 
lic, he could not be a candidate for the Chicago nomination. Having 
made that announcement, he would lack the honor of a man — he 
would do great injustice to those friends, to permit his name to be 
used now. As a member of the New York delegation he, personally, 
thought it advisable to support an eminent jurist of that State for the 
nomination ; but he was not actuated in this by any doubt of the 
ability and patriotism of the distinguished gentleman who has been 
placed in nomination. He knew that General McClellan did not 
seek the nomination. He knew that that able officer had declared 
that it would be more agreeable to him to resume his position in the 
army ; but he will not honor any the less the high position assigned 
him by the great majority of the country because he has not sought 
it. He desired to add a few words with reference to Maryland and 
her honored delegates here. Yesterday he did an act of injustice to 
a distinguished member of that delegation (Mr. Harris), because he 
(Seymour) did not understand the purport of his remarks, and he 
now desired to say that he was fully satisfied that that high-toned 
gentleman was incapable of taking a position in this convention, par- 
ticipating in its deliberations, and refusing to abide by its decisions. 
We are now appealing to the American people to unite and save our 
country. Let us not look back. It is with the present that we have 
to deal. Let by-gones be by-gones. lie could, say for our gallant 
nominee that no man's heart would grieve more than his for any 


wrong done Maryland. As one who did not support him in my 
delegation, and as one who knows the man well, he felt bound to do 
him this justice. He (Governor Seymour) would pledge his life that 
when General MeClellan is placed in the presidential chair he will 
devote all his energies to the best interests of his country, and to 
securing, never again to be invaded, all the rights and privileges of 
the people under the laws and the Constitution. 


Gentlemen of the Convention : — The gentleman from Kentucky 
has moved that this convention do now adjourn. But before I put 
this resolution, allow me to return my best acknowledgments for the 
cordial thanks you have voted to myself and the other officers of this 
body. I will not detain you with any lengthened remarks, for I can 
say nothing to add to the effect of the proceedings of this convention. 
I know that every heart is full. I know that every man goes forth 
from here strengthened and confirmed in the conviction that we have 
added new years to the life of this republic. Gentlemen, we part to 
meet no more in our present relationship ; but throughout the rest 
of our days we shall remember this meeting. May God Almighty 
bless you all in the future. May He grant it to you to live to see the 
day when good government shall be restored to this land of ours, 
when abuses shall be wiped away, this Union re-established, and 
fraternal relationship existing ; so that, when our last hours come, we 
can thank God that we have lived again to see the days of American 
liberty and American prosperity. 


Governor Seymour at Milwaukee, September 1, 1864. 

Refers to Chicago Convention — Hoped the West might have prevented 
War — Expense of the War — Time has come to judge the Administra- 
tion — Reviews the Military Situation — Condition of Border States — 'Offi- 
cial Order prohibiting People of Western States to bear Arms — Condition 
of West after Three Years of War — Believes War has been in vain — Con- 
dition of Kentucky — Reasons for supporting General MeClellan — Effects 
of Republican Policy — Opposes centralized Power — Past Prosperity con- 
trasted with present Condition. 

I pear that my broken voice will not allow me to address you as I 
wish. I have come from an assemblage the most remarkable that 
ever met in this country of ours — an assemblage which was marked 
not alone by its enthusiasm and the vastness of its numbers, but also 
by its patriotic desire to restore peace to our distracted country, and 
to preserve its liberty and its union. It is in the spirit of that Con- 
vention that I would address a few w,ords to you. I know that I 
am animated by no selfish or merely partisan desire to influence your 
judgment; I have experienced too frequently the hospitalities and 
courtesies of those who differ with me here in Milwaukee, to ques- 
tion the purity of their motives. 

MILWAUKEE, SEPT. 1, 1864. 235 

Three years ago I passed through this city, and had occasion to 
address you at that crisis in our public affairs. It was a little tiine 
after the public mind -was aroused by the attack on Fort Sumter. I 
had hoped that a spirit of compromise and conciliation might prevent 
the shedding of blood. Failing in the East to secure the adoption 
of measures to this end, I turned, my face to the West. I addressed 
myself not only to those of my own political faith, but also to 
those who differed from me. I hoped that the great West would 
take a position that would stop the flow of blood. The rapid in- 
crease of your population had increased your representative power in 
Congress. Had not Fort Sumter been fired upon, the West might 
have stepped in and distinguished the first exercise of her augment- 
ed power by the enactment of measures for the preservation of 
peace. Three years have passed away since I then stood near this 
spot. Then seventy-five thousand men had been called for by the Fed- 
eral Government. It was believed to be an extravagant call. I looked 
upon it otherwise. I feared we did not appreciate the magnitude 
of the contest. Men of all parties, actuated by a spirit of patriot- 
ism, responded to the demand. It was promised that peace should 
be restored, in less than ninety days. Three years have rolled 
away. The young men that responded to that call, where are 
they ? More than five hundred thousand of our brave soldiers now 
eleep in their untimely graves. Look at the debt ! An immense 
debt ! — over two thousand millions of dollars, by the accounts of 
the Government itself. Over two millions of men have been called for 
since that time to bear arms in the struggle. Five hundred thou- 
sand more are to-day being called for. The nation is crushed 
down with taxation, and the war not ended. A point of time has 
arrived when it is the constitutional duty, as well as constitutional 
right of every American citizen, to inquire whether it is for the 
public interest to continue the war, and to Bit in judgment upon the 
conduct of the Federal Administration. That duty we cannot escape. 
That duty we must meet in a spirit of patriotism, of candor and 
honesty. We must meet it boldly. In that spirit I now address you. 

I would not denounce this Administration for casual acts of wrong. 
I would not condemn it because its members have erred in judgment. 
But I denounce it because I believe it has entered upon a settled 
policy dangerous to the welfare of our country. Looking at its 
policy in that light, it is my duty to denounce it freely and boldly. 
Why is that Administration now compelled to make a new demand 
upon us ? It proposes to put down the rebellion by two powers ; 
the power of policy and the power of the army. That it has failed 
is not the fault of the army. All over our country, by the banks of 
our rivers and along our sea-shores, the multitudes of new-made 
graves attest its devotion. There is no man who will stand up and 
denounce the conduct or courage of our soldiers. The lines of our 
marches toward Atlanta and Richmond are paved with their bodies. 
In the history of the world there has never been a more deadly con- 
flict waged by valiant men than during the present summer. It 
would be a libel upon our army to assert that it has not done all, and 
more than all, too, that has been expected of it. Why is it then 
that we have not succeeded ? 

Turning from the consideration of the military power, let us ob- 


serve the policy of the Government. To-day our forces compass 
the mouth of the Mississippi, are present in the harbor of Charleston, 
and are struggling for the possession of Georgia under Sherman. 
But let me tell you, also, that today it requires more men to hold in 
the Union the three States of Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland, 
than the whole number originally called for to suppress the rebellion. 
In the beginning these States repudiated secession. Three years ago 
the North responded, with unanimity to the calls of the Government. 
When on my return from the West at that time, the people of 
Chicago, like the people of Milwaukee, were animated by a spirit of 
unanimity and patriotism. What do we see now ? The Government 
has so little confidence in the people that by an official order, just 
issued, it denies to the people of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, 
one of the sacred rights of every American citizen.- The Government 
has so little confidence in the people of these States that it fears to 
trust them with the privilege of bearing arms. The Constitution 
declares that this right shall not be .infringed. Our fathers believed it 
necessary for the protection of the people from the encroachments of 
arbitrary power. You are told that the people of these States cannot 
be trusted, with arms even to hunt their food upon your broad 

The Administration has lost faith in the people of Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, and Michigan, and they have lost faith in the Administration. 
If we have failed in this war, it is because the Administration has 
established a policy which has rendered ineffectual our efforts in the 
field. The result of the coming elections involves the liberty of our 
country. It is to decide whether you are to be safe in your own homes 
and by your own firesides ; and there is no greater National trouble than 
that which penetrates the home and reaches the fireside. Greater 
questions, graver questions, questions which come more directly home 
to the hearts and interests of men, have never been submitted to the 
people for their arbitration ; and in their decision, that which is for 
the interest of Democrats is also for the interest of Republicans. We 
believe we are to triumph in the contest. No man can doubt this 
who saw what I saw in Chicago. It was the largest number of men 
my eyes ever rested upon. 

Three years ago, when I last visited Wisconsin, labor was hopeful 
and cheerful. I saw your prosperous husbandmen turning up the sod 
in your fields. I saw the mechanic happy at his bench. The frugal 
laborer was content with his wages and his fare. Man cared nothing 
for the light taxation assessed upon him under a good Government. Go 
where I might, I saw the evidence of public and private prosperity. 
Three years have passed away. You have given up to war one-half 
the number of your young men capable of bearing arms. In your 
workshops and on your farms labor is no longer cheerful. Men are 
told that they must leave their homes, that they must abandon the 
plough in the furrow, that they must turn away from spindle and 
loom and devote themselves to war. Mothers and sisters are in trouble 
by the family hearth, and when there is trouble there, there is no hap- 
piness in life. Under the policy of the Federal Administration this 
is not to be the last, draft upon you. When I said to the officers of 
the Administration that a man enlisted from my State for three years 
ought to count as three men for one year for the coming conscription, 

MILWAUKEE, SEPT. 1, 1864. 237 

I was told that the proper credit would be given in the next draft 
to be made. Now, is there no mode by which the people can be pro- 
tected from these frightful sacrifices, and the Union be saved ? In 
God's name, are there no means by which we can save the lives of hus- 
bands and brothers ? We mean to save the Union. 

For three and a half years we have tried war in vain — in vain, as I 
believe, because of the policy of the Government. That policy has 
tended to prevent and not restore the Union. I ask my Republican 
friends to think considerately upon the circumstances in which we all 
are placed. We battle for you as well as for ourselves. When we shall 
gain power again there is no right we ask for ourselves we shall not 
secure to you. We have been deeply aggrieved^ as we feel, by the policy 
of our rulers. Our rights have been infringed upon. The freedom of 
speech and of the press has been denied us. The sacredness of our 
homes has been impaired. We could not behold the fearful despoil- 
ing of our country going on without a feeling of humiliation. This 
division of our people among themselves pains me. But here I 
pledge myself that, if a Democratic Administration comes into power, 
and you, my Republican friends, shall have reason to complain of 
these wrongs, I will fight to the death to preserve you those rights 
which have been denied to us. Though my opponents make the pul- 
pits of the land the source of deadly aspersions upon me, I will take 
my stand at their doors and give my blood to maintain their right to 
do so. 

No thoughtful man will approach these questions without a feeling 
of humility. No man can contemplate these new-made graves of our 
land without feeling all the passions of his heart hushed, and his pride 
of opinion crushed, by the events of the past few years. We believe 
the policy of the Administration has placed hindrances in the way of 
the restoration of the Union. Its measures have hampered our efforts 
to that noble end. Those measures can bring to us neither Union 
nor peace. 

It is nearly two years since the Government seized the mouth of 
the Mississippi river, and yet not a foot of land there is restored to 
the Union. The border States are held, too, by the force of arms. 
Had you been at the Convention at Chicago, you would have seen 
there men from Kentucky who, less than three years ago, were vene- 
rated in Congress, who bore on their faces the impress of patriotism 
of soul, honesty and virtue — Guthrie, with his towering strength, and 
Wickliffe, with his earnest love of liberty and law. Less than three 
years ago the Administration at Washington clung to these men for 
support. Yet these men, who have been separated from their fami- 
lies, and who have suffered as no man knows for the sake of the cause 
of the Union, came up to Chicago to complain of wrongs inflicted 
upon them by the Washington Government. Some of these men have 
been torn from their families, and have been locked up in prison. 
And"women, too, though devoted to the Constitution and the Union. 
Can we put down a disaffection by creating disaffection ? Are we 
making any progress in putting down disaffection, when, by the con- 
fession of the Administration itself, disaffection with the Government 
has extended to the Canada line ? I appeal to you, have we made 
any progress in this war ? We don't want slaughter, but peace, 
relief, protection. We want to stop the destruction of life. 


The difficulty with the Administration is, that it is pledged to such 
measures that its moral power is gone. My Republican friends must 
know this, and must feel it in their hearts. I would not say one un- 
kind word of those who compose the Administration ; but even the 
New York Tribune admits that this exercise of power for four years has 
given rise to prejudices against it in the public mind ; that it cannot 
hereafter successfully administer the Government. We propose to 
elect to the Presidency a patriot, a soldier, and a Christian — George B. 
McClellan. Every soldier says that he is a humane man, a patriot ; 
and we all know that he is a forbearing man under the infliction of 
injustice. We have named him because we believed all could sup- 
port him. We have shown our Republican friends that we can meet 
them part way. It was our duty to take a man whom, having been 
in. the service of the Administration, Republicans could support. The 
only objection made to him at Chicago was, that in obedience to the 
behests of the Administration he had gone too far. We nominated 
him that we might restore prosperity and peace to the people. 

For eighty years the Government was administered by conserva- 
tive men. They preserved its unity and its concord. We had peace, 
and our country was an asylum for the oppressed of every land. Our 
Republican friends at Chicago, four years ago, did not mean to insti- 
gate this National strife. They did not want civil war. God forbid 
that I should charge them with that intention. But their views 
tended to strife, and such was the consequence, as we then believed it 
would be. We had read that meddling leads to strife, and we believed 
the safest policy was to observe the old adage, and mind our own 
business. The Republicans told us that they would not infringe upon 
the rights of States. But what do we see ? They were led by their 
doctrines, passions, and prejudices, to violate the pledge. It was the 
necessary consequence. 

We had been told that the South could not manage their own sec- 
tional affairs. We were told that if we were to stop the mouth of 
the Mississippi the Southern people would starve. We were told 
much about the superior, cost of Southern mail carriage, and that the 
South could not be driven out of the Union. This course of dangerous 
agitation has continued until to day. The dominant party approves acts 
from the contemplation of which they once would have turned away 
with horror. Had I said here in Milwaukee, three years ago, that a 
general of the Federal army, this year, would issue an edict denying 
to the people of the North-west the right to bear arms, or that the 
writ oi'habeas corpus would now be suspended, and your citizens be 
subject to military arrest without the right of trial by jury, I should 
have been derided and scorned as a madman. 

The passions and prejudices to which Republicans have been edu- 
cated for so many years have led them to a position which they can- 
not retract. Their folly is illustrated by their action in Congress. 
At the moment when our armies were forced to abandon Northern 
soil, Congress was legislating to confiscate Southern property. Con- 
fiscation laws, however, apply more to the North than to the South. 
At the South they are ineffectual, and do not pay the expenses of their 
execution. It is your property, the property of Northern taxpayers, 
which is confiscated by this system of legislation. 

What is the draft itself but a confiscation law ? It takes one man's 

MILWAUKEE, SEPT. 1, 1864. 239 

person, but it takes another man's property. Reason seems blind 
■yvith those persons. Congress was absurdly expending its time confis- 
cating Southern property tbe very moment Lee's army was within 
sight of the dome of the Federal capitol. 

We of the North did not know the power of the South. We did 
not dream, even, of the power of the North, and we are disappointed. 
The party in power has become so entangled by its own policy that 
no door is left open for retreat. 

, Those who visited Washington the past winter may have seen the 
hospitals filled with groaning and dying men. Going to the capitol, 
you heard only the language of sectional bitterness and hate. The 
measures advocated there, if persisted in and sustained, will overwhelm 
the country in common ruin. 

We see in Lincoln's re-election no hope for the future. We cannot 
do worse. We don't claim to be better or wiser men than our oppo- 
nents. God knows that the poor weak nature of man has little to 
boast of; but our views came from our fathers. They told us that 
great armies would bring ruin with them, and bring a horde of tax- 
gatherers in their train. More arbitrary government may possibly 
sometimes be a blessing, but there never was a tax-gatherer who was 
a blessing anywhere. Our fathers told us, that with a National debt 
would come a vast array of ofiice-holders, and we behold them already 
present now. 

There is another principle against which our fathers warned us, 
and I fear that it is the rock upon which we have split. Tou begin to 
have a centralization of power. Where is this to end ? The fiamers 
of the Constitution understood the principle that the people in the 
several localities knew what they needed best. So we made a gov- 
ernment of States with State rights. We have States of different 
size. Missouri is larger than all New England. Our fathers had this 
difficulty before them. We of New York then had not as large a 
population as Massachusetts or Pennsylvania. We said, let us be gen- 
erous. Take care that Rhode Island has an equal power as a State 
with ourselves, and like ourselves controls its own local affairs, 
that there may be no jar in the political system. Now what? We 
are told that we must have more power in the Federal Government. 
The end of that is less power. That might be shown in a few words- 
Place more power in the Federal Government, and a few States may 
rule over all the others. Taxation would become unequal and be 
made to fall heavily upon particular branches of industry. The in- 
equality which exists as to the States becoming centralized, and the 
power of the Federal Government will be unequally exercised. 
When men feel that the tribunal by which they are governed is not 
equally constituted, there is danger of perpetual war. We of New 
York wish to live on terms of peace with you of the West. But to 
do that we must not be permitted to exercise an unjust power over you 
through the Federal Government. To preserve peace we must not 
be permitted to intermeddle, with your local affairs, and you must not 
be permitted to meddle with ours. The reservation of power to the 
States tends therefore to the peace and security of each and all. To 
give more power to the Federal Government renders it not stronger 
but weaker. This making the General Government stronger by a 
centralization of power is illustrated by the feat of the barrel which 


attempted to become a hogshead by bursting the hoops, when it be- 
came, not a hogshead, but a bundle of staves. If the day ever comes 
■when the General Government shall exercise more power, it will de- 
stroy itself. It is the idea of centralization — this idea that the Fed- 
eral Government 'should exercise the powers reserved by the Consti- 
tution to the States, and attempting to do so, that is causing strife all 
over our land. 

I implore you, therefore, to turn to the wisdom of your forefathers. 
Turn again toward the light of experience. Turn again to the wor- 
ship of the principles on which our Government was founded, and 
you will find union, peace, and prosperity. Remember the eighty 
prosperous years of the past. I am confident, from a careful study of 
the theory of our Government, that if this doctrine of centralization 
prevails, our Government must be destroyed, and destroyed forever. 
Read again the Declaration of Independence ; read again the Farewell 
Address of Washington ; read again the history of the Revolution, and 
learn how it was we became great and prosperous, united and happy. 
Do not say, you who have faith in the policy of the Administration, 
when we complain of a departure from these principles of our fathers, 
that it is evidence of our disloyalty. 

I remember that, on one occasion, you refused obedience to the 
Federal Government here in Wisconsin. When you did not like oae 
of its laws you declared a determination to resist its execution. You 
were then a little forward in the doctrine of secession, if I may judge 
of the fact from your statutes. 

I do not advocate any disrespect of the General Government. I 
have labored in mj' own State to secure obedience to all the lawful 
behests of the Administration, and we have humbled ourselves as to 
the Deity to satisfy its demands, so as to deserve no imputation of a 
disposition to deny the support it needed in the hour of danger. 
I feel convinced as I do of my existence that the policy of the 
Republican party leads to the popular discontents which are spread- 
ing wider every day. If you expect to govern Florida in accord- 
ance with that policy, you must pay the cost in blood and treasure. 
Let me tell you, men of Wisconsin, if you undertake to govern 
South Carolina, by denying to her the rights secured to her by the Con- 
stitution, it will cost you dearly. 

If you attempt these things, then you will wipe out your property, 
and our country is in ruins. Eighty years under a prosperous Gov- 
ernment, and three years of opposite experience — three years of sad 
and bloody experience — mark the contrast ! We are already driven 
to the verge of ruin ; every man knows that there is an amount of 
debt which leads to bankruptcy. Every man feels that there is a 
waste of life and blood which leads to anarchy. God grant us wis- 
dom for our own Government I God grant patience to our people to re- 
sist these threatened calamities ! Place that man in power whose 
personal integrity and whose pursuits in life were never impeached 
by the breath of slander. I never met the Republican who could 
question the purity of his character. We think he is an able man, 
too. But no matter, we intend to carry this election upon what 
lawyers call the general issue. We say the Democratic party is for 
the Union. We want the South back. We want the people of the 
South to obey the laws. This Administration cannot restore the 

NEW, YORK, SEPT. 8, 1864 241 

Union. We can save the Union. A just, wise, and humane policy 
will save it. Our victory will reestablish the Constitution and bring 
back peace. We have no proclamations better than the Constitution 
itself. We stand free-handed. . We stand resolved to ; bring Union 
and peace to the people. We ask you, in this hour of dread afflic- 
tion, in this hour of death and mourning, to go with us, humbly 
and reverently, to the teachings of our fathers, that we may rees- 
tablish union and peace. We demand no sacrifice. We have no 
pride of opinion. We arrogate to ourselves no excess of wisdom. 
We would draw a veil over the past. Together we will join in the 
redemption of our country, and together we will rejoice as we emerge 
from this war with tke Government reestablished in all its authority, 
with the Union restored to all its original strength, and the people 
imbued anew with the spirit of Christian civilization, and with the 
wisdom of our fathers. 

Governor Seymour at New York, Sept. 8, 1864. 

What was done at Chicago — Conduct of the War — Duties of the Administra- 
tion — Faults of Policy — Border States — Eight of the People to bear 

Neither my health nor my voice will permit me to address you, 
save a very few words, but I could not forbear to say something to 
you upon this occasion. I have come back from the Chicago Conven- 
tion. I was your representative there in part, and I stand before you 
now imbued with the spirit which animated that patriotic body of 
men, and the vast assembly which attended upon its proceedings. 
Animated with a hope that by our proceedings we might do some- 
thing to restore tke Union and bring back peace to our land, to up- 
kold constitutional liberty, we met, in the city of the West, our breth- 
ren from other portions of our Union, in order to express our senti- 
ments and to place in nomination a candidate for President. I have 
seen much of political gatherings, but never before did I attend.a con- 
vention so absorbed by one single idea — to save our Union and to 
save our country — as pervaded that body of men. ' Not only was 
this true of the delegates of the several States who spoke, but it was 
true of the vast assembly of citizens who came up from every portion 
of our country to witness tke deliberations of the convention. They 
had recently read the letter emanating from the President of the 
United States, "To ail whom it may concern," and it concerned 
them all to find that this terrible war in which we have. been engaged 
for three years, was not waged solely to restore our Union or to 
uphold our Constitution. They were deeply concerned to find that 
after three years of bloody struggle so little progress had been made 
by this Government in restoring peace to our distracted country. 
We are now called upon by our constitutional duties to sit in judg- 
ment upon this Administration. It is not only our right but our 
duty to inquire why it is, after we have spent more than two thousand 
millions of dollars, after we have given to this Government more than 



two millions of men, why it is that, so far from our country being 
restored to its former condition, we are told by the Government 
itself that rebellious discontent has travelled northward, while our 
armies have fought their way, dispensing their lives and blood in 
Southern direction. Why is it, my friends, that there has been this 
utter failure to bring this war to a successful end ? It roust be either 
the fault of the policy of the Government, or it must be the fault of 
those who bear arms in support of our flag; it must be due either to 
the civil policy of the Government, or else it must be due to the fact 
that our armies have not come up to the full expectation of the public. 
Now, who will dare to say that this failure is due to the brave men 
who have battled so fearlessly in defence of the flag under which 
they are rallied ? Who will dare to say that they failed in these efforts 
because the people of this country have withheld either their means 
or men in their efforts to uphold the Constitution and maintain the 
Union ? Who, I ask, standing amidst the new-made graves of five 
hundred thousand men who have fallen victims in this war, will dare 
to say it is owing to want of bravery, want of zeal, or want of devo- 
tion on the part of the brave men who have battled thus under com- 
mand of this Administration ? Nay, more ; I aver our armies have 
accomplished all that our community had a right to expect of them. 
They have done enough, if their efforts had been seconded by wise 
statesmanship, to restore peace to our land. 

One year ago, after the battle of Gettysburg, after the taking of 
Vicksburg, after the opening of the Mississippi river, when we had 
sealed up the ports of Charleston, Savannah and Mobile, when we 
held possession of Louisiana and the mouth of the Mississippi river, 
had there been wisdom at Washington to have availed itself of the 
fruits of our victories and the advantages gained by the brave men 
on the battle-field, to-day we should have been living in peace under 
a restored Union, and under the Constitution that would be respect- 
ed by all classes of men of our community. I charge them here, 
that the disgraceful failure which we have suffered is due, and clue 
alone, to the policy of this Administration. It is chargeable upon their 
lack either of ability or of desire to terminate the contest which they 
find contributes so largely to their power and also to their advantage, 
and which ministers so much to their ambition. Now it has been 
charged upon us that we were untrue to the Union. We untrue to 
this Union ! I ask you, in GodVname, why should we be faithless to 
it ? This glorious Union, the very work of that grand conservative 
party that for eighty years administered the affairs of our land, rais- 
ing us from one of the feeblest of nationalities to one of the mightiest 
powers of the world ! We untrue to the glorious Union, that was 
almost the sole work, so far as statesmanship was concerned, of the 
Democratic party, and of its great statesmen ! Why, sir, it is not we 
who are afraid to have the States come back into this Union ; it is 
not we who fear a fraternal relationship again with the people of the 
South ; it is not that party who, outside of power, feels none of the 
advantages of this war, and feels so heavily its burdens. It is not 
such a party that tries to protract the struggle ; it is not this party 
that stands in the way of the restoration of the Union. No, my 
friends, it is that party which from the beginning of this contest, by 
its legislation, by its proclamations, by its policy, by its passions, by its 

NEW YORK, SEPT. 8, 1864. 243 

hates, by its bigotry, and by its intolerance, has furnished all the ob- 
stacles which today prevent the seceding States coming back to their 
allegiance, and restoring peace to this land. Who asks any conditions 
to go before the restoration of the Union ? Who is it that places proc- 
lamations above constitutions? Who is it that places some other 
question before the restoration of our Union ? Read the letter of 
Abraham Lincoln and you will learn who it is that are the " condi- 
tional " Union men. Does our candidate ask conditions ? Does he say, 
before this Union shall be restored some conditions should be put 
forth? Far, very far, from this.; he asks, he demands, that whenever 
the people of the South will return again in the limits of this Union 
they shall have restored to them every constitutional right, every 
State right, every personal right, that is enjoyed in any portion of 
our country by any one. 

I said our failure to restore our Union and bring back peace to our 
land was due to the policy of the Administration. You have had before 
you this night one of the most striking and touching evidences of the 
truth of this assertion. What spot of ground Is there in this broad 
country of ours that has been pacified by the policy of the Adminis- 
tration ? Our armies have gained possession of Louisiana. It has been 
held by them for nearly two years. It has been under the control of this 
Administration as to its civil policy. Have they brought it back into this 
Union ? Have they restored to it peace, tranquillity, and prosperity ? 
You know that it is not so, and you know the condition of Louisiana 
after two years occupation by our army, under the policy of this Ad- 
ministration, is worse than on the day it took military possession of 
that portion of our country. At the outset of this war your hearts 
were made glad, our hopes were strengthened, when we heard that 
the glorious State of Kentucky was true to the flag of our Union. 
More than that, turn to the papers of that day, and you will there see it 
stated among the evidences that Kentucky was true, that that glorious 
old patriot, Governor Wickliffe, stood by the Constitution and the 
country, and by its flag, although in so doing he perilled his own life 
and fortune. To-day we are told that Kentucky, that Missouri, that 
Maryland, and portions of Virginia that voluntarily remained in 
the Union under the guidance of men who were then held by all 
classes as patriots, to-day we are told that these men, after three years' 
experience of the policy of the Administration, are hostile to the 
Government. They are treated as if they had been traitors to the 
cause of our Union instead of being its firmest supporters, under cir- 
cumstances- of great trial and great embarrassment. Now this is 
true that, from the beginning of the war down to this moment, the 
policy of the Administration has bgen such that it has spread disaffec- 
tion through our land ; and while our armies have bravely and heroic- 
ally battled their way to the South, the miserable policy of this Ad- 
ministration has, by their own statement, so bred discontent throughout 
the North, that to-day they will not allow the people of the States of 
Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio, all of which gave their votes for Abraham 
Lincoln, without whose votes he never could have been made President, 
— to-day one of the officers of Mr. Lincoln declares itis not safe to allow 
those people to purchase arms and ammunition, and every effort has 
been put forth to disarm them. Is this pacifying the country ? is this 
the policy that builds up our Union ? Is this, I ask you, the 


policy calculated to bring back peace to our land ? Now, we must 
choose in this election between the two parties into which our popu- 
lation is divided. On the one hand you have a party made up of 
good men (and I do not stand here to assail them), having their full 
share of personal worth and personal intelligence, but nevertheless a 
party which is animated by mistaken political principles ; a party 
that has allowed itself to be impelled in its action by sectional preju- 
dices and sectional bate. The result of the ascendancy of this party 
has been discord, war, and the ruin of our land. In opposition to that 
party you have another, a time-honored organization, identified with 
all the glories of our history ; an organization that is animated by 
sentiments the very opposite of those I have stated, made up of 
men who love their whole country, of those who mean to preserve this 
Union, of those who mean to bring back peace to our country, of 
those who mean to do battle in behalf of constitutional liberty; You 
must choose between the two ; upon the result of that choice hangs 
the very destinies of our land. Four years more of such an Admin- 
istration as we have had will work, my friends, irretrievable ruin to 
this great and glorious country of ours. We have placed in nomina- 
tion a man who has shown his devotion to his country by perilling 
his person in behalf of its maintenance. We have nominated a man 
against \shotn not even pur political opponents have ever breathed 
one word of reproach, so far as his personal purity and his character 
are concerned. We have placed in nomination a man who asks no 
condition for the restoration of this Union. A man who declares that 
it must and shall be preserved. A man whose name is dear in a 
thousand homes of our State. A man whose name is venerated by 
those who went forth at the outset, or who continue to go forth at 
this day, to fight the battles of our land. We have nominated George 
B. McClellan, the patriot and soldier. I am not able to say more at 
this time. I will therefore conclude with introducing to you another 
speaker, one who lives on the Pacific coast, a distinguished citizen of 
California. We love on these occasions to feel our own broad love for 
our country in having those to speak to us who come from its remotest 
bounds. We are honored to-night with the presence of one who has 
been a Governor of that distant State, and I will now introduce hiin 
to you in order that you may hear what he has to say for distant, 
golden California. 

Order of Governor Seymour on the Death of General 


General Headquarters, State op New York, ) 
Albany, September 26, 1864. J 

General Orders No. 20. 

With sorrow I announce the death of Brigadier-General David A. 
Russell, who was killed on the 19th instant, near Winchester, Va., by 
a cannon ball, whilst leading his command in battle. Thus befittingly 
on the field of combat, in the hour of signal victory, after an honor- 
able career by no means brief, this officer met his fate. This event 


will fall with painful force upon the hearts of his immediate friends, 
for whom I need not bespeak the sympathies of a grateful country. 
General Russell's official record is his abundant claim to public 
regard. Graduated at the military academy of West Point, he 
entered the service, and soon after took the field in the war with Mex- 
ico. He served throughout that war, was twice taken prisoner, and 
was brevetted lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct at Cerro 
Goi-do, and elsewhere. He passed ten years on the Western frontier, 
and when recalled to take part in the present war was acting com- 
mander of his regiment. Entering as colonel of the Seventh Massa- 
chusetts Volunteers, he was three times promoted in the regular army 
for distinguished services in the campaign. Soon after he was 
appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers. He passed through all 
the subsequent battles of the Army of the Potomac, and in.iNovem- 
ber last was assigned to the command of the first division of the Sixth 
Army Corps, at the head of which veteran force he continued until 
the close of his bright and valuable life. 

The funeral is to be attended from his late home in Salem, Wash- 
ington county, on the afternoon of the 27th instant. In token of 
respect to his memory, the National flag will be displayed at half- 
mast on the capitol, and upon all the arsenals of the State through- 
out that day. 

Horatio Seymour, 
Governor and Commander in Chief. 

Official: — John T. Sprague, Adjutant-General. 

Correspondence on the Completion of the Quota of New 


mr. blunt to governor seymour. 

County Volunteer Committee, ) 

New York, September 28, 1864. f 

To His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor State of New 
York : — Sir — I have this day obtained from Brigadier-General William 
Hays, Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal of this District, a certificate, 
showing that the quota of New Ydrk, under all calls, is full. 

In view of the efforts made by you in our behalf, especially in 
the controversy relative to the reduction of the enrolment of 1864, 
and the quota under the last call, I deem it incumbent on me to ex- 
press to you, at this time, our sense of our obligation toyou. 

So much is due to your assistance in seconding our exertions to 
avert the threatened evil of the draft, that it seems but meet that 
this acknowledgment should be made. - 

I have the honor to subscribe myself your very obedient servant, 
(Signed) Orison- Blunt) 

Chairman N. Y. County Vol. Com. 


governor seymour to mb. blunt. 

State op New Tobk, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, September 29, 1864. J 

Hon. Orison Blunt : — Sir — I- have received yours, advising me 
that the quota of the city of New York has been filled. This aus- 
picious result is mainly due to the large credit given by the War 
Department for enlistments into the navy. It was a work of immense 
labor to show the number of sailors who went into the naval service 
from your harbor. 

This was done so clearly that no ground was left for doubt or dis- 
pute. The large and numerous volumes giving the names of each 
person enlisting, make an unusual and impressive monument of offi- 
cial labor and fidelity. While this Department has been happy to 
co-operate with you and your board in any measure intended to 
save your city from a disastrous demand upon its population, it is 
my pleasant duty to say that the great toil and perplexity of getting 
together the mass of testimony was borne by you. Without your 
action it would not have been possible to have established the claims 
of this State. 

As its Chief Magistrate, I thank yon for the industry, vigor, and 
zeal you have shown, in saving the citizens of New York from a 
great load of debt, and from an injurious drain upon its population. 

You are entitled to their gratitude for this great service. 

Truly yours, <&c. 
(Signed) Hobatio Setmouk. 

Speech of Governor Seymour to the McClellan Legion, 
New York, October 4, 1864. 

Members op the McClellan Legion : — I thank you for this com- 
pliment, one which I value more highly because it comes from men 
who have proved by their deeds that they are earnest and sincere in 
their sentiments. After fighting in the field for the flag of your coun- 
try, you are now battling as faithfully and as patriotically at home 
for the Constitution of your land. 

You have not only been willing to peril your lives upon the battle- 
field, but you now stand forth as defenders of the rights of free 
thought and free speech ; of constitutional liberty, and of the Union 
of our country. I thank God that at least in the State of New York, 
the cheers of freemen may go up for personal rights, for constitution- 
al guarantees ; the more particularly at this moment, when in some 
of the glorious States of this Union — in ancient Maryland, in glorious 
Kentucky, and in far distant Missouri — the attempt has been made 
to limit and to crush out the rights of the people of this country. 
My friends, I cannot speak to you to-night. It will be my duty soon 
to address another audience, and I fear that my voice may fail me. 
Once more then I thank you for this manifestation of regard, and 
once more I invoke you to stand up bravely and loyally for the old 
principles of American liberty, not only for the State of New York, 
but for every State of this confederacy. It will be my pride to 


join with you in this campaign in the earnest support of one of your 
fellow-soldiers, who has ever shown himself not only brave as a sol- 
dier, but true as a man, and patriotic as a citizen — George B. 

Governor Seymour requests Furloughs for Soldiers to 


governor seymour to secretary stanton. 

State op New Toek, Executive Chamber, ) 
Albany, October 4, 1864. ) 

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: — Dear Sir — A large 
number of the soldiers of the State of New York, in the service of 
the United States, and in army hospitals, are desirous to have fur- 
loughs, that they may repair to their respective homes to cast their 
votes personally at the coming election. I respectfully ask, therefore, 
that an order for such furloughs may be issued, embracing, so far as 
may be compatible with the interests of the public service, all who 
are able to avail themselves of such privilege. 

Very respectfully, 

Horatio Seymottr. 


■Wae Department, Washington City, 
October 6, 1864. 


Sir: — In reply to your note of the 4th inst., just received, I have 
the honor to state that last year furloughs and transportation were 
furnished all New York soldiers in hospital, who were unfit for duty, 
but able and desired to go home and vote at the annual election, and 
that it is the design of this department to furnish those who may be 
able to go home with the same permission and facilities for exercis- 
ing the elective franchise at the approaching election. 
Very truly yours, 

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Albany. 


Governor Seymour at Philadelphia, Octoher 5, 1864. 

Action of New York in the War — Duties of the Governor — The Waste of 
War — Patriotism of the Northern People — Reviews the Conduct of the 
Administration — Commends the Army and Navy — Effect of the War 
upon the People at Home — Condition of the border States— Orders of the 
Administration in Maryland and in the Western States — Contrasts Period 
of War with Time preceding — Unconstitutionality of Congressional 
Acts — Arbitrary Arrests — -Conduct of Administration toward People of 
the South — Mr. Lincoln — Character of his Policy — Hopes and Fears for 
Future — Reasons why Democracy should settle Difficulties — The Confis- 
cation Laws — Enlistments and the Draft — Armies after the War. 

Fellow Citizens : — I am suffering great pain from illness, and 
therefore must crave your indulgence while I attempt to speak to 
you with regard to the great issues which at this time agitate the 
minds of the American people. I stand before you to-night, impressed 
with the magnitude of these issues. I stand before you an earnest 
man. I may hold mistaken views, but God knows, I utter no word 
which is not prompted by the deep convictions . of my judgment. I 
do not stand here tonight in the spirit of intolerance,, or to excite 
your passions or your prejudices against that portion of our fellow- 
citizens who do not agree with us in political sentiment. If I am 
honored by the presence 1 of one of those who differ with us in regard 
to our duty at this time, I ask him that for the moment he will lay 
aside his prejudices and listen to me while I shall attempt to show 
him, with entire respect, why I believe it is not in the power of this 
Administration to save the Union, and that . to place that Adminis- 
tration in power for four years more, would be dangerous to the liber- 
ties of the Union. I do not claim superior wisdom. I do not claim 
for the Democratic party unerring judgment. I do not ask our 
Republican friends to yield to us in any degree, but simply to listen 
to the wisdom of our fathers. I ask them to return to the paths 
they trod when our country was great and prosperous. 

I look upon public affairs from a peculiar stand-point — one which 
gives me opportunities of seeing, the waste of this terrible war in 
which we are engaged. The State of New York, since the commence- 
ment of this war, has sent about three hundred and fifty thousand 
men to the field. We have contributed in our due proportion — as the 
State of Pennsylvania, and other States in this confederacy, have con- 
tributed their just quota — to sustain the armies of the Government in 
the contest in which it is engaged. You know that under the pe- 
culiar organizations of the State governments, the Governors of the 
respective States have many opportunities of knowing of the progress 
of the war better than the Administration at Washington. It has 
been my duty to commission the officers of the State of New York. 
It has been my painful duty to give commissions to the young men 
of that State who have gone forth in the bloom and beauty and pride 
of their manhood, alas ! many of them never to return to their peace- 
ful homes and the embraces of their families. I have seen much of 
the waste of this terrible war in sweeping our young men into early 
graves, or imposing upon our country unwonted taxation that, in 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864. 249 

various forms, has been imposed upon our country to enable it to 
carry on the war to a successful issue. 

Standing then amid the new-made graves of hundreds and thou- 
sands of our strong and vigorous young men, the hope of our country, 
we should be recreant to our duty, false to liberty, and untrue to the 
memory of our fathers, if we did not call this Administration to 
judgment, and demand of them an account of the- blood and treasure 
that they have called for, and which has been so freely poured forth 
at their command. Under the Constitution of the United States, it is 
not only our light but our duty to sit in judgment upon the policy of 
that Administration. We are to do this not in any spirit of passion 
or prejudice, but as it becomes men intrusted with the great liberties 
conferred upon us by the Constitution of our land. This war has 
been carried on for three years. This Government has had placed at 
its disposal about two million five hundred thousand men. There 
has been no demand made upon the country for money that has not 
been responded to by all classes of citizens. I appeal to you, my Re- 
publican friends, if this is not true ? While we have differed with 
you on questions of policy, while we have thought that this Admin- 
istration was not ; conducting the war on right principles, I appeal to 
you, in this hour of our country's danger, to know whether we, as 
well as you, have not made a free response to the demands which 
our Government has made upon us. 

I do not propose to go into any history of the war. I accept the 
fact that we are at war. I accept the fact that the country is now 
brought to the extreme verge of peril, and the questions of to-night 
are not the questions of the past. We are not to ask ourselves what 
brought the war about ; the question is how the country can preserve 
its existence and perpetuate its liberties. Draw the curtain over the 
past, and let us, in the spirit of true manhood, without reference 
to past differences, determine what we shall do to save the country. 
We have' given to this Administration, as I have said, more than two 
millions of men. You know how promptly their demands have been 
met ; you know that, from time to time, they have promised us de- 
cisive results, and you know how these expectations have been dis- 
appointed. When this war was commenced the Government relied 
upon two forces to produce submission to its authority. One was the 
force of the armies, and the second was the force of the policy of the 
Government. Why have we continued the war for ' these four years 
without causing the South to submit to arms ? Is it because the 
people have not given to the Government all the support it de- 
manded ? Has it "been because our sons and brothers who have gone 
forth to the contest have been untrue and recreant in the hour of 
conflict? I repel the charge if any man be found base enough to 
make it. I admit that the war has been waged with varying fortunes. 
I admit that we have sustained disasters as well as gained victories, 
but I contend that never, in the history of the world, have a people 
responded to the call of a government as our people have responded to 
the call of this Administration, and never has such heroism been dis- 
played as has been displayed by our armies in the field. The Ad- 
dministration has been gratified in every wish, and the war is not at 
an end, nor is peace restored. 

Plas the army failed in its duty? Go to the swamps of Virginia ; go 


to the sea-coast of South Carolina ; go to the tropical fields of Louisiana, 
and you will find everywhere the graves of the American soldier. 
The soil of Virginia is become to us a sacred soil in a new and terri- 
ble significance. At the beginning of the war the Administration 
said that if we would give them seventy-five thousand- men they 
would put down resistance. You gave them seventy-five thousand 
men and the resistance was not put down. I do not find fault with 
the Administration for not accomplishing this with an inferior force, 
but I do insist that when they assumed charge of the Government 
of the country that they were bound to have known more of the 
resources of the South ; they were bound to have known more of 
the character of our countrymen. Do you remember that three or 
four years ago it was unsafe for any man to stand up in this com- 
munity and attempt to show the resources and strength of the South ? 
These things were overlooked in the spirit of arrogance, and we were 
told that all this resistance could be crushed out with a little force, 
and if any one did not believe it, he was disloyal to his country, and 
held treasonable views. Now, I say that our armies, after they were 
filled to their proper proportions, did accomplish all that was re- 
quired of them. They said " Close up the Mississippi river, seal up the 
ports of the South, and the rebellion will die ofitself ; the South is not 
self-sustaining." The Mississippi river was closed, the ports of the 
South were sealed, and the rebellion did not die. Then larger armies 
were needed, and the whole world was astonished at the call for six 
hundred thousand men.* The cry was changed. They now said, " Open 
the Mississippi river, give us control of the great highway of the 
West, and it will bring peace and the submission of the South." 

Vicksburg was taken and the Mississippi was open for the trans- 
portation of our armies and the munitions of war. There was no 
organized force in opposition to the Union west of the Mississippi 
river. Not only was Vicksburg captured, but the army of Pember- 
berton was destroyed. West of the Mississippi river there was not 
an organized force of any respectable strength opposing the Union 
troops. Lee's army was defeated at Gettysburg. Following these 
victories the country gave the Government six or seven hundred 
thousand men to add to the armies in the field. And more : the peo- 
ple, thinking that they could trust this Administration, gave them also 
political power, so that they stood nine months ago, not only a Gov- 
ernment at the head of the greatest armies ever known in history, but 
a Government that, as the elections in the free States showed, was 
sustained by the people through the whole Union. I believe that all, 
notwithstanding political views and political prejudices, will admit 
that our armies have done their work. We, in common with our Repub- 
lican friends, have honored the names of Grant and Farragut, Sher- 
man and Sheridan, and all the heroes of the war. We deny that their ef- 
forts have been unsuccessful, and the blame of continued war is not with 
our armies. The blame rests elsewhere. It is the Administration which 
has failed to bring this war to a close. I aver that the failure is only 
due to the policy of the Administration. I aver that our armies have 
not only overcome the forces of armed resistance, but have done it 
while at every step they have been hindered by the action of the Gov- 
ernment at Washington. The lives of the people of the North have 
been cut off, and the progress of our armies at the South obstructed, 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864. 251 

by measures of the Administration, which have been most fatal to us 
in the prosecution of the war. I do not deal in merely argumentative 

I call your attention to what our armies have done. The army, 
more than two years ago, gave us possession of Louisiana, and of the 
great commercial port of New Orleans. For two years the Admin- 
istration has had its own way there ; what has been the result of 
those two years of government? They have not tranquillized one 
foot of land. Every man knows that the civil, political,' and business 
condition of that State is worse to-day than it was when the armies 
of our country handed it over to the control of the Administration at 
Washington. In order to determine how far the Administration at 
"Washington has availed itself of our victories, I call your attention 
to the condition of our country at the outset of that war, and then to 
its condition to-day. Our armies, at an enormous expenditure of life 
and of treasure, to yon and to the people of every Northern State, 
have battled courageously southward, but what has the Administra- 
tion done behind them ? We have it from their own lips ; it is set 
forth in their own edicts and their own orders — the orders which have, 
been issued by the generals in the field, with the sanction of the 
Administration — that rebellious discontent has travelled northward as 
our armies have fought their way south. 

The State of Missouri remained in this Union of its own will. 
There was love enough there for the Union to put down resistance to 
the authority of the General Government at the very outset. How is 
it to-day ? After three years of rule of the Administration at Wash- 
ington, you are compelled to make contributions in men and in 
money to hold in the Union by force a State which originally was 
with us of its own will. Look at the condition of Kentucky, one of 
the most glorious States in the Union, which in former times gave us 
statesmen whose names we love to remember — the names of Clay and 
of Crittenden, and is associated with the memory of Jackson. When 
armed resistance to the authority of the Government first began, the 
people of Kentucky resolved to stand by us. They severed the ties 
of consanguinity ; they broke away from the dearest associations of 
relationship, and you remember with what joy we hailed such men 
as Wickliffe, Guthrie and Crittenden, who stood by the flag and Con- 
stitution of our land. But since the Government at Washington has 
taken the control of that State in hand all has changed. The pres- 
ence of armies is now required there, and those men who were with 
us at the outset now come here to tell you of injury and insult to 
which they have been subjected. My friends, it would bring tears 
into the eyes of the strongest men in this audience if they could 
listen to the recitals of men like Wickliffe, Guthrie, and others, when 
they tell us of the insults and wrongs heaped, not upon men_ alone, 
but upon women — refined women. I ask, in God's name, in this 
land of ours, are men so lost to all sense of manhood that they would 
tear a gentle sister and the loving wife from their homes because 
they still cherish a love for one who may be fighting under the flag 
of the South ? Now, I care not how severely war may be waged 
against men, but I do protest in the name of all civilization, I do 
protest by the love we bear to our families, I do protest in the 
name of the most sacred relationship, that to punish a woman 


for an exhibition of true womanhood, for clinging with love and 
tenderness even to the erring, is mean tyranny, unparalleled in 
history. I met those men a few days since at Chicago. Their forms, 
their countenances, and all' about them, bore the air of true nobility, 
and when they stated in the convention the wrongs and outrages to 
which they had been subjected by an ungrateful Administration, an 
Administration which clung to them like frightened children . in the 
early hours of peril, it drew tears into every eye, and we felt that 
there could be no hopes from an Administration that could sink so far 
below the level of manhood as to heap such insults upon the people 
of Kentucky. What has the Administration done for the Union in its 
management of that great State ? : 

But go a little further • eastward, to the State of Maryland. It is, 
perhaps, doubtful what course that State would have taken, if left free 
to act for itself; but I ask you if, for the past three years, the control 
of the Government in shnping its policy and its domestic relationship 
has been of a character that tended to bring that State back to its al- 
legiance? You know it to be true that men of that State who clung 
with patriotic devotion to the flag of their country, are to-day writh- 
ing under the injustice of this Government, and cursing it from their 
very hearts, because they have been thus trampled upon. "Within 
three days a general who holds a military control in that State, or- 
dered the only paper there which had put up the name of George B. 
McClellan for the presidency, to be suppressed. The people of Mary- 
land were undertaking the discharge of a great and solemn duty 
when they entered into this presidential canvas. It is their right to 
criticise the action of this Administration. What reason was given 
(and I invite your attention to it), what reason was given for this 
action. If this paper had violated the laws, why not bring its pro- 
prietors into court ; why not make some charge against them ? But 
the order states that the commanding officer fears there will be popu- 
lar violence. We are actually told that within forty miles of the very 
capital itself-^under the shadow of the vast armies we have given it 
— the Administration cannot guarantee protection to citizens in the 
exercise of their chartered rights. When your delegates met at 
Chicago for the purpose of placing a presidential ticket in nomination^ 
an order was issued by another general (and it has not been disap- 
proved) that the people of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana — States that 
placed Mr. Lincoln in the presidential chair; that gave him over- 
whelming majorities— should not be permitted to purchase shot, pow- 
der, ammunition, or arms of any description. And thus you are told hy 
another order that, as I said, while our armies are battling southward, 
rebellious discontent is travelling northward, until it has reached the 
lakes, and in the three great States of the Union, this Administration 
has lost confidence in the people— aye, and the people have lost con- 
fidence in it. I will not follow this subject further, but I implore each 
man within the sound of my voice, to lay the map of our country he- 
fore him, then to take the edicts of generals and the legislation of Con- 
gress, and see how far, by the showing of the Administration and its 
friends, discontent has spread itself since the commencement of this war. 

Is it then not a gross wrong to the people of this country, and to 
the armies of the country, for them to point you to the battle-field 
and tell you there is but one way to restore the integrity of this Gov- 



eminent, and that by force, and force alone. They tell you this to 
divert your attention from the fact that they have not only signally 
failed to co-operate with the army and to avail themselves of victories, 
but have undone the work of the soldier, and made it impossible for 
themselves to restore the Union, whether we have victories, or not. 
I will assume that in the next thirty days the army of Lee is destroyed, 
that, of Hood annihilated, and every form of organized opposition is 
driven out of the field, and then .our Republican friends who have 
looked forward hopefully to victories thsjt were to bring us peace and 
union, will see, for the first time, the full measure of the impolicy of 
the acts of the Administration. For the first time they will see the 
dangerous position into, which our country has drifted, amid the 
smoke and carnage of battle. These victories will only establish 
military governments at the South, to be upheld at the expense of 
Northern lives and treasure. They will bring no real peace if they 
only introduce a system of wild theories, which will waste as war 
wastes ; theories which will bring us to bankruptcy and ruin. The 
Administration cannot give us union or peace after victories. 

Men of Pennsylvania, I remember that in former years, our coun- 
try, under the policy of conservative men, increased from a people of 
three millions to a nation of thirty millions ; that within the lifetime 
of one man it advanced from a feeble colonial existence into the full 
measure of one of the mightiest powers upon the face of the earth. 
I saw the husbandman cheerfully laboring, sure of tlje fruits of his toil. 
The light taxation that fell upon him was nothing. He could count 
his gain almost clear as he pondered how he would give some new com- 
fort to his family^-some new advantage of education, or of social con- 
dition to his children. I saw cheerful labor in your workshops, the 
machinery instinct with life that seemed to perform the duties almost 
of animated men. I saw your streams leap forth in the morning from 
your hills, and glide away at evening into their rest, after turning the 
mechanism which gave wealth to your State. To-day, the weary 
laborer turns up the sod with the consciousness that the larger part 
of his produce must go to pay the cost of bloodshed and carnage ; 
and he labors on with still less courage when he feels that, perhaps, 
the son that he has looked to as the companion of his labor hereafter, 
is to be torn from him for the purposes of war. When I enter your 
homes I find that the mothers, the sisters, and the wives, go less 
cheerfully to their daily duties ; and when there is sadness by the 
fireside, there is sadness and gloom throughout all the land. 

How can we return again to our former condition, free and pros- 
perous, the admiration and envy of the world ? Men tell you that vic- 
tories will do it. Victories alone will not bring back these things. 
If we had had a wise, just, magnanimous Administration, we have 
already won victories enough to have given us peace, prosperity, and 
National happiness. It is only because the public mind has been occu- 
pied with the great drama of war, it is only because you have been 
watching with fearful anxiety your sons and brothers in the field, 
that you have not seen the full measure of the evils which the policy 
of this Administration has brought upon the country. If six months 
ago we had achieved complete military success, and the smoke of 
battle were now wafted away, there would not be found to-day one 
man in the land to stand up and say that it was wise or well to 


replace this Administration in power. Let us then assume that we 
have gained victory, and inquire if with victories this Administration 
can restore peace to the land. 

In the fi> - st place, you have seen how it has been in those States 
that have been brought back to the Union, in the border States that 
never went out of the Union, and in those States which gave to the 
Administration not only military and pecuniary support, but even 
political support. We have found that precisely as we have given 
the Administration political power, in the same ratio they have 
trodden down our political rights. When the Administration went 
beyond the efforts to restore the Union and maintain the supremacy 
of the Constitution, and said, we will drive the Southern people to 
desperation, we will unite them as one man in opposition to our 
armies, we will shed the blood of our people and pile upon them 
onerous taxes, in order that we may carry out a vindictive and re- 
vengeful policy of confiscation, they did not stop at this. There was 
no unconstitutional act passed in regard to the South that was not 
accompanied by an unconstitutional invasion of the rights of the peo- 
ple of the North. When they said to the South, " You shall not have 
Union as it was ;" when they said, as the Attorney-General of my own 
State said, in this city, a few days ago, " We do not want the Union 
as it was, but the Union as it ought to be," they also suspended the 
habeas corpus in the North. When they projected confiscation for 
the South, the courts, laws, and judiciary of the North were tram- 
pled under foot, your personal rights were not secure, and for the 
first time our homes were liable to be invaded by the subordinates of 
the Government. In Great Britain, the humblest hut in the king- 
dom, although it may be open to the winds and rains of heaven, is to 
the occupant a castle impregnable even to the monarch, while in our 
country the meanest and most unworthy underling of power is licensed 
to break within the sacred precincts of our homes. 

But look further : as I said, armed opposition is driven from the 
fields of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and parts of Louisiana, and 
yet this portion of country, already conquered, requires more troops to 
hold it under military rule than are demanded for our armies to fight 
the embattled forces of the Confederacy. If you will make the com- 
putation for yourselves, from the proportion of troops required to hold 
these States, you will find that more men will be needed to keep the 
South in subjection to the arbitrary projects of the Administration 
than are required to drive the armies of rebellion from the field. The 
peace you are promised is no peace, but is a condition which will per- 
petuate and make enduring all the worst features of this war. They 
have passed an act of confiscation. They say to the people of the 
South, When we have conquered you, we will take from you your 
homes and your property and drive you out without shelter in the 
"world. This cannot be called a war measure, because the property of 
a people cannot be confiscated until you can lay your hands on it. It is 
not a measure to help our armies, for the threat of confiscation renders 
the resistance to them more determined and desperate. But it may 
be said " When we achieve victories, then we intend to be lenient." 
But if you intend to be lenient after victory, why did you pass these 
laws to hinder victory ? But they have done more ; they have said we 
will mould their institutions ; we will place them under a military gov- 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864. 255 

ernment. Mr. Sumner would reduce the Southern States to the con- 
dition of colonies, but Mr. Lincoln says they shall be admitted back 
as States, when one-tenth of the population shall ask it, and this one- 
tenth shall govern, control and represent the State ; but if only one- 
tenth of the people are willing to come back, who is to hold the other 
nine-tenths in subjugation ? At whose expense is it to be done ? My 
friends of Pennsylvania, if you want to govern Georgia — if you want 
to enable one-tenth of its people to exercise this extraordinary power 
over the other nine-tenths, you must pay for the privilege ; you must 
give up y our sons to the work ; you must give them up to die of linger- 
ing diseases, sickening and sad, far away from their homes, without even 
the poor privilege which they now have of knowing that they die upon 
the battle-field for the flag of their country. Every intelligent officer 
of our army will tell you that waste of life is not so great during the 
most active service as in periods of inaction, when the men are herded 
together in camps, when the mind becomes stagnant, and the system 
becomes peculiarly susceptible to disease ; thenit is that the work of 
death goes swiftly on. Are you willing, men of Pennsylvania, to give 
up your sons to the slow, lingering death of Southern camps? In 
God's name, for what ? To inaugurate this monstrous government of 
one-tenth in violation of all the principles of American liberty ; to 
allow the Administration this precedent, dangerous to yourselves, that 
it is wise and right to maintain a military subjection at this enormous 
cost of blood and treasure. If this policy prevails, you are to have a 
series of drafts upon your population ; you are to have increased 
burdens of taxation thrown upon your labor, you are to have a per- 
petuation of that maxim which men are not ashamed to put forth, 
that monstrous libel upon our institutions, that in times of war there 
are no rights which the head of your Government is bound to respect. 
Read the Declaration of Independence ; read your Constitution. 
"When were those great principles of public liberty and private security 
established ? Where was it that you had worked out for you the guar- 
antees that were afterward engraven in the Constitution ; that your 
rights of conscience should not be interfered with ; that you should 
have freedom of speech ; that no man should lay his hand upon your 
person unless he did so by the sacred authority of the law ; that your 
home, though it might be the humblest in the land, yet all blessed as 
the shrine of domestic love and affection, should be to you a tower of 
strength, secure and inviolable ? How were these guarantees obtained ? 
They were won by your fathers upon the battle-field. War does not 
extinguish liberty. We fought our war of the Revolution to win, pre- 
serve and perpetuate liberty. War does not suspend the rights of men, 
and he who dares to say that Abraham Lincoln, at the head of his enor- 
mous armies, may rightfully do what George Washington would not do 
in the darkest hour of the Revolution, does not know what constitutional 
liberty is. The Union cannot be restored under this policy. It is not 
possible to hold that vast extent of country, with its peculiarity of. 
climate and condition, in military subjection. It is elaimed by our 
Republican friends that these are war measures, but that when the 
victories are gained the Government will be magnanimous. I hope 
this may be true, but what has been the teaching of the past ? Is it 
not true, my Republican hearers, that after the news of some signal 
victory, won at the common cost of all the citizens of the Northern 


States, you display toward those who differ from you an arrogance 
that you did not display the day before ? 

Has the policy of the Government been made magnanimous, Na- 
tional, and patriotic by victory ? I point ; you to the legislation of last 
winter, after the wonderful success of our armies. . If you had visited 
Washington you would have found thirty thousand men lying in your 
hospitals. Day after day the dead were borne forth to be deposited 
in their graves, and your hearts would have sickened at the sight of 
pain and death.. Then if you had left the hospital, with its rude and 
humble appointments, after having seen the devotion of these suffer- 
ing men, whose eyes, perchance, amidst the deepest agony or in their 
dying hours, would light up at the sight of their country's flag, and 
after having been impressed with their virtue, their courage, and their 
patriotism, if you had passed to the capitol, and walked through its 
gilded halls, adorned with all that art and riches could place there, 
with every emblem that told of our former, greatness and liberty, and 
listened to the representatives of the people assembled, there, you 
would have heard with astonished ears, that in this hour of victory 
they were pouring forth the language of bitterness, vindictiveness, 
and strife. Has this Government been made magnanimous, just, or 
generous by victories ? I appeal to you again, my Republican friend, 
if it is not true that in your daily walks of life you have manifested 
the same courtesy and consideration toward those who disagree, with 
you in matters of judgment in the hour of victory, that you did 
when, in the darkest hour of the Republic, you cried, " Let us lay 
aside all differences of opinion, and rally once more around the flag 
of our country^" Read over the acts of vindictive legislation passed 
in the last three years ; acts of confiscation, acts of punishment, 
acts of expatriation, acts sanctioning the violation of your most 
sacred rights and liberties, and say whether the history of the past 
gives you a right to hope for wisdom aud magnamity in the future. 
These acts must be repealed before the country can be united and 

The Administration must say to the people of the South, " Come 
back again and enjoy with us constitutional liberty, for if it is denied 
to you, in the end it will be denied to us." Let us forget the immedi- 
ate past, and go back to the story of the Revolution. Our flag would 
not be complete; the glorious catalogue of the States of this Union 
would be imperfect, if we were to strike out the homes of Marion or 
Sumter, the grave of Jackson, and the birth-place of so many men 
associated with our history. If they tell you they will repeal these 
acts, they tell you they intend to do what they should have done a 
y«ar ago. But they cannot and will not repeal these laws. I would 
not say one unkind word of the President of these United States. I 
would speak of him respectfully as the head of the Government; but 
neither Mr. Lincoln or his cabinet have now control over National 
affairs. I believe most sincerely that if it was in the power of Abra- 
ham Lincoln and the members of his cabinet to undo the past, they 
would cheerfully wipe it out. I believe if they were able to resume 
again their private stations, and felt themselves safe from an injured, 
outraged and deceived community; if they felt, the laws they 
had violated would not be used against them, they would with joy 
leave the places of power, and give the Government into other hands. 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864 257 

Why was Mr. Lincoln nominated at Baltimore against the judgment 
of three-fourths of his own party, against the judgment of almost all 
the Republican members of the Senate ? They were opposed to the 
nomination of any man who had identified himself with illegal arrests, 
and with violation of constitutional law. I ask you this question, my 
Republican friends, and I ask it with all respect and sincerity. God. 
knows my heart, that' in this sad moment I cherish no resentment. I 
wish for nothing but the good of my country, and the salvation of its 
liberties. In their private conversations they freely acknowledged 
that they preferred some other man than Mr. Lincoln. It was natural, 
of course, that those who held place under him should desire his 
nomination. But the one great operating cause that produced his 
nomination was this, that there were men in the army, and others 
surrounding him, who did not dare to let him go into private life, who 
did not dare to be brought back under the jurisdiction of the laws of 
the land, of the judgment of their peers. The nomination was made 
because men who had enriched themselves by unworthy means from 
the treasury of the country, feared to be brought to that account to 
which they will be brought when bur Government is restored, and 
our Union reinstated. 

Mr. Lincoln and his Administration will not repeal the law that de- 
nies you any remedy against wrong done by them to your person or 
property, because they know that to do this is to bring themselves 
to judgment. They will not pursue a course that will give us a 
restored Union, because a restored Union reinstates the authority of 
law, and there would be an investigation of the frauds and failures 
that, in an unusual degree, have marked the conduct of affairs during 
the last three and a half years. I do not mean to say that the Ad- 
ministration is to be condemned because, under circumstances so unu- 
sual as those which have existed during this war, bad men have 
taken advantage of the confusion in affairs to do acts of wrong. But 
I do complain that when these wrongs are done, the Government 
deliberately passes laws that protect the doer, and thus makes wrong- 
doing its own act. Moreover, in an election like this, when the Gov- 
ernment is spending such an enormous amount of money, and the 
liability to peculation is so great, the Administration that will say to 
contractors, as has been openly said in circulars: "You have had a 
good contract, out of which you have made money, arid we expect 
you to use a part of that money to assist to replace us in power," 
renders itself a partner in fraud and corruption. The contractor will 
say to this Government : "You shall not make a peace that shall put 
an end to all my profits. You called upon me to give my money, in 
violation of the laws of the land, to put you in power ; you called 
upon me to do that which every great man has said is subversive of 
constitutional liberty and good order ; and now, when you have 
gained your share of the triumph, you shall not turn around and 
cheat me of my share of the spoils." Has the Administration under 
these circumstances the power to stop this plunder and this drain 
upon the people of the country? They cannot do it. They have 
placed themselves in the power of men who can bring them before a 
grand jury and punish them as criminals for their acts. They 
cannot retrace their steps. It is impossible for them to restore the 
Union and bring back the South to her former fraternal relationship 



■without saying that all they have done for the last three years, haa 
been -wrong. Suppose there is a victory, and you call upon Mr. Lin- 
coln to give us again peace, prosperity, and National happiness; 
to do the -work of pacification by assuring the people of the South 
that, if they return, they shall have again at least the security of 
their homes. Mr. Lincoln lifts his manacled hand, and says: "I 
cannot ; there is the confiscation law which I must obey." We beg 
him that he -will, at least, allow them to live under their own State 
governments, so that we may be relieved of taxation necessary to 
maintain a military government. Again Mr. Lincoln lifts a mana- 
cled hand, and says : " I cannot ; there is my proclamation. I 
stand before the country shackled by proclamation and shackled by 
acts of Congress. I can do nothing to pacify the South." He is 
powerless unless he can induce Congress to undo all it has done. 
He cannot discard the wishes of those who have become his masters; 
for one man makes another his master when he enters into an arrange- 
ment with him that will not bear the inspection of the world or the 
investigation of the laws of the land. The Democratic party can re- 
store the Union, and I believe it will. If that is true, then I appeal 
to my Republican friends if they are not bound to give the Government 
into our hands ? Will any man say that we engage in this contest for 
political triumph ? What is a political triumph ? I stand before you 
to-night; a candidate in my own State for an honorable office. What 
matters it if politics alone were to be considered, whether I am 
elected or beaten ? A few brief years, and I shall pass away and 
slumber in the grave ; in a little time we, with all our passions, 
our hopes, and our fears, shall be no more. In the issues of this con- 
test are the destiny of our country, the liberty of our land, the pres- 
ervation of the Constitution, the union of the States. We do not 
battle for constitutional law and for personal rights for ourselves 
alone. A change of parties may, perhaps, make you, my Republican 
friends, the objects of wrong under the precedents that you yourselves 
have established ; but we battle for your rights as well as our own. 
There is no man living who values the good opinion of others more 
than I do ; but when the Democratic party comes into power, if any 
man in this land sees fit, in the most public place, to stand up and de- 
nounce me as all that is bad and base, I pledge myself here I will 
battle for his right to do so at the cost of my life. I wish that all 
could feel as I do on matters of religion; that they should love the 
gospel of peace and good-will ; that they would speak kindly even of 
the erring, and that Christian love and charity should abound in all the 
relations of life. But if there be those who would convert the temples 
of God into arenas for fierce, vindictive, partisan demonstrations, I 
will stand in front of their porch and defend to the utmost their 
right to do so. We battle not for a party, but for all. In ordinary 
political elections the interests of the party may be a sufficient object, 
but now there is too much at stake. I therefore aver that when our 
Republican friends say to you and to me : " You sympathize with the 
South ; you have kindly feelings for the South," they only say, " You 
can make peace with the South better than we." 

When they charge that we had ancient affiliations and cordial 
relations with the South, and that we desire the political help of 
the South, they only give another reason why we should be per- 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864. 259 

mitted to avail ourselves of those peculiar advantages to bring 
back our Union. Is it not monstrous, that the charges are brought in 
the self-same breath, first that we desire a separation of the Union, 
and next that all our interests and sympathies are in favor of the 
restoration of the Union ? They, on the other hand, have a political 
motive against restoring the Union. If this is true, they ought to 
give up the work to us. They ought to say to us : " You have sup- 
ported us for four long years ; you have given us three millions of 
men and three thousand millions of treasure; you have burdened your 
States with taxation, and loaded down your municipalities; your 
homes have been deprived. of many comforts; more than all, you 
have given up your loved ones to die, and sad vacancies are left 
by your fireside. We have tried our policy for four years ; we have 
failed to restore peace and to bring back the Union, and now 
in common fairness you should be allowed to try the effect of 
your policy." We are not parties to their vindictive legisla- 
tion. Let me tell you of this confiscation act. Before you can 
confiscate property you have got to get it. After wasting men 
and arms, you will find that those who fight for their homes are 
the men who fight on, and fight ever. And when you have got the 
property, it will be in a desolated country, and its value will be 
destroyed. But in attempting to confiscate the property of the 
Southern people, the Administration have in fact confiscated yours, 
by the increase of taxation which their policy threw upon you. It 
is dangerous for a government to have more power than it can exer- 
cise wisely and well. Our fathers wished to avoid this danger ; they 
did not fear for the rights of the States, for these cannot be trampled 
out of existence. The armed heel of military power may tread upon 
them for a day, but in the end they will rise again in their might 
and integrity. But our fathers said, If we give the Central Govern- 
ment power which it cannot exercise judiciously, it will become 
odious to the people. They were called upon to form a Government 
for a vast extent of country ; they said, If we have a king he cannot 
know the peculiar wants of the people in the middle of Pennsyl- 
vania or in the middle of New York ; he lacks the intimate knowl- 
edge of these localities, necessary to one who is to legislate upon their 
affairs. With an aristocracy the same difficulty would arise. They hit 
upon the common-sense idea which you all act upon in your daily life. 

There is no man in the community who is efficient at all trades and 
professions. There are lawyers, doctors, and clergymen. If you de- 
sire a lawyer, you go to a person especially learned in that profession. 
You say he may not be a very honest man, but he understands law 
thoroughly. Your family is sick ; you do not go again to a lawyer 
but to a doctor ; he may know nothing about law, but he is an excel- 
lent physician. One man, or one set of men, cannot govern this 
country. There must be men of skill in all departments, in all locali- 
ties, to do their separate work. The people of Schuylkill county, in 
Pennsylvania, or of Onedia county, New York, from which I come, 
may not be the best people in the world, but they know a good deal 
better than anybody else what schools they want, and who they pre- 
fer for justice of the peace and for constable. 

The people of Virginia and Pennsylvania have different interests ; 
the people of Pennsylvania cannot legislate for Virginia, but Virginia 


can legislate better for herself than any one can for her. And so our 
fathers said : " We will only allow the Federal Government to do 
that which it cannot do amiss ; to do that which it can do better than 
any one else. It shall represent our National power and dignity;; it 
shall maintain our foreign affairs and treaties." That is the principle 
upon which our Government is founded — that each section shall legis- 
late on those subjects that particularly concerns it. Now, the Admin- 
istration calls upon you men of Pennsylvania to legislate for the peo- 
ple of Georgia at your own cost in blood and money. We cannot 
trample upon the rights of the people of another State without 
tramplipg on our own as well. The attempt to gain power by a large 
jurisdiction and centralization will result always'in weakness. A year 
ago a person came to me to ask my opinion about the draft. I said 
it was contrary to the genius of our institutions; that it, was the 
habit of the people to come together in school districts and make 
their voluntary contributions, and then in towns, and next in counties^ 
and these little contributions at last swelled up the vast quotas of the 
States, and made the mightiest army that the world had seen, until the 
Government itself said, " We can take no more," and rejected these 
offerings. I told them if they passed the conscription act it would 
prove to be a confiscation act against the North. The act was passed. 
It produced resistance, and the country shrunk away from it by com- 
ing forward and giving large bounties. It fell heavily upon the homes 
of the poor. It proved the most expensive and burdensome method 
that could have been adopted of obtaining troops. And so, my 
friends of the Loyal League, a hand was laid upon your property in 
the form of bounties, and while you talked of confiscating the property 
of the people of the South, and prolonging the war for that purpose, 
and united the opposition in the South, you crushed out the life of the 
North. A selfish, narrow, and vindictive legislation reaches your 
own homes, for you have departed from the wisdom of your father^ 
and the principles of the Constitution. 

We must go back to these. We must teach every man in the land 
that his person is sacred, and he will love the laws that protect him. 
We must teach the poorest citizen that his home will be protected 
against any power of the State, and he will love the Government that 
throws its shelter around his loved ones. We must teach him that 
the law and Constitution protect the right of conscience. What has 
brought here the millions of men who of later years have crossed the 
ocean ? They have come here to enjoy not only the privileges which 
Almighty God has given to us in our vast, extended, fertile plains, in our 
wide scope of territory, but they knew our Government gave freedom 
of conscience, freedom of home, and freedom of manhood. If we 
speak of dangers in the future, we do not allude to the conflict of 
party. There is no danger that one party will array itself against 
another. But when you have destroyed the finances of the country, 
when you have vitiated its currency, when you have deranged profit- 
able business, so that the merchants dare not go on again, and the 
manufacturer thinks it unsafe for him to continue his operations be- 
cause of the uncertainty of the future ; when the comforts of life 
become so costly as to be beyond the reach of men in ordinary cir- 
cumstances, then you will discover that there is danger — not of a 
conflict of parties, but that men of all parties, suffering and injured 

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 1864. 261 

Republican more than Democrat, because more deceived — will turn 
upon this Administration and endanger the security and peace of the 
society in which we live. Is it safe, my Republican friends, for you 
to go on prolonging this war for the sake of vindictive legislation ? 
The war between France and England, and Russia, was settled when 
France and England had gained far less advantage than we have 
gained in this contest. The men who were drafted, this year under 
the five hundred thousand call, have but one year to serve. The 
three years men who were taken into the army in 1862 will go out of 
service next year. Their terms begin to expire in the spring. In nine 
months the army will need the largest additions that have been made 
to it at any one time. As the Administration shrank from calling for 
more three years men just before an election, the places to be vacated 
by the one year men must be filled in nine months, and thus it is rea- 
sonable to believe that the largest draft that has yet been made will 
be ordered at the beginning of the year 1865. I do not speak unad- 
visedly, for the Administration has intimated to me that they expect 
another draft. The State of New York has furnished an excess of 
three year men, and I asked that in making up the quota of New 
York one three years man should be counted as equal to three one 
year men. They said they could not do that, as they needed men 
immediately, but they provided that a three years man should count 
as one man on this draft, as one man on the next draft, and as one 
man again on the third draft, and thus the matter would be equal- 
ized. So it appears from this that we are to have at least two drafts 
more. Every man knows that we must have this further draft. 
After war is ended, under the policy of this Administration, we 
shall be compelled to maintain large armies to hold the people of the 
South in subjection, to carry out the emancipation proclamation and 
the confiscation act. 

I appeal to you to investigate these questions and ascertain what 
policy and what party are the most likely to restore Union and peace. 
And .when you have decided what the right is, let no man deter 
you from doing it whatever may be the consequence. I am full of 
hope this night. I believe that we are to triumph, and that once 
again the flag of our Union shall float over all this broad land. The 
day will come again when in the councils of our party, as we call the 
roll of States, the Gulf of Mexico will send up a response to the 
voice that shall come from the borders of our great lakes. Georgia 
shall echo back to Maine, the Atlantic to the Pacific, and hereafter 
we shall go on governing our country by the voice and will of the 
free people of the States, rendered wiser by the trials and suffer- 
ings through which they have passed. May the God of our fathers, 
He who gave them wisdom to frame our Constitution and establish 
our Union, grant us the wisdom to retrace the steps which we have 
trod, to renew that Union, restore the supremacy of that Constitution, 
and begin once again our career of National greatness and National 


Governor Seymour's Action on the Arrest of Col. Samuel 
North, New York State Agent, at Washington, D. C. 

Albany. October 30, 1864 
To Amasa J. Parkee, William F. Allen, and William Kelly> 
Greeting : — It being reported that Colonel Samuel North, agent of 
the State of New York, at Washington, together with certain other 
citizens of this State, not in the military or naval service of the 
United States, have been placed in arrest by the military authorities of 
the United States, and no reason for such arrest having been given to 
me ; and being anxious to learn the fact of such arrest, and the 
grounds therefor, to the end that no innocent persons may be im- 
prisoned without a fair and speedy trial, and that no obstacle may be 
put in the way of the soldiers of this State having a fair ballot, ac- 
cording to its laws : 

Know you that I, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New 
York, do hereby appoint you, Amasa J. Parker, William F. Allen, 
and William Kelly, commissioners for and in behalf of the State of 
New York, and do authorize and direct you and each of you forth- 
with to proceed to the City of Washington as such commissioners, 
there to inquire into the facts and civcumstances relating to such 
arrest, and alleged causes therefor, and to take such action in the 
premises as will vindicate the laws of the State and the rights, 
and liberties of its citizens, to the end that justice may be done and 
that all attempts to prevent soldiers from this State, in the service of 
the United States, from voting, or to defraud them, or to coerce their 
action in voting, or detain or alter the votes already cast by them in 
pursuance of the laws of this State, may be exposed and punished, 
and that you report your proceedings to me with all convenient speed. 
(Signed) ' Hobatio Seymour. 

D. Willees, Je., Private Secretary". 

■ ♦• 

Proclamation Concerning the Election. 

Regarding Excitement during Election, and discountenancing interference at 

the Polls. 

In a few days the citizens of the country are to exercise their con- 
stitutional duty of electing a President and Vice-President of the 
United States, at a time when the condition of our country excites 
the deepest interest. The questions of the day not only affect the 
personal welfare of all, and the happiness of their homes, but are also 
of a character to arouse the passions, and lead to angry controver- 
sies between parties. The existence of a terrible civil war, and the 
assertion of the right of military commanders in some sections of our 


country to interfere with elections, have caused painful and exciting 
doubts in the minds of many with regard to the free and untram- 
melled exercise of the elective franchise. I therefore appeal to men of all 
parties to unite with those holding official positions in their eiforts to 
allay undue excitement, soften the hardness of party prejudices and 
passions, and to avoid all measures and language which tend to strife 
and disorder. However we may differ in our views of public policy, 
we are alike interested in the maintenance of order, in the preserva- 
tion of the rights, and the promotion of the prosperity of our State. 
While we do not agree as to the method by which these ends are to 
be gained, they are earnestly sought by all. It is certain they cannot 
be reached by angry controversies, unreasonable suspicion, or disor- 
derly actions. 

There are no well-grounded fears that the rights of the citizens of 
New York will be trampled upon at the polls. The power of this 
State is ample to protect all classes in the free exercise of their politi- 
cal duties. In doing this the public authorities will be upheld by 
good citizens of all parties. There is no reason to doubt that the 
coming election will be conducted with the usual quiet and order. 

Sheriffs of counties, and all other officers whose duty it is to keep 
the peace and protect our citizens, will take care that every voter 
shall have a free ballot in the manner secured to him by the Consti- 
tution and laws. It will be their duty to see that no military or other 
organized forces shall be allowed to show themselves in the vicinity 
of the places where elections are held, with any view of menacing 
or intimidating citizens in attendance thereon. Against any such in- 
terference they must exercise the full force of law, and call forth, if 
need be, the power of their districts. 
In witness whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and affixed 
the privy seal of the State, at the City of Albany, this second day 
of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and sixty-four. 


Thanksgiving Proclamation for 1864. 

State of New York, Executive Department, ) 
Albany, Nov. 17, 1864. f 

By virtue of the laws of this State, I, Horatio Seymour, Governor 
of New York, do hereby designate Thursday, the 24th instant, as a 
legal holiday, and a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God for public 
health, abundant harvest, and other blessings during the year. While 
a desolating civil war fills our land with mourning, throws heavy bur- 
dens upon the industry of our country, and carries distress into the 
homes of our people, we should be thankful that the miseries caused 
by the weakness and wickedness of men are lightened by the good- 
ness and mercy of God; that the destinies of our nation are in His 
control, and that we can trust that in due time He will lift his chasten- 


ing hand from the people of this country, who have been ungrateful of 
His favors, and rebellious to His teachings and authority. Gratitude 
to God is best shown by mercy and charity to our fellow-men. I 
therefore exhort the citizens of this State to help the poor, to relieve 
the sick, and to comfort those who are in affliction. Many living in 
our large towns are threatened with a want of labor and the means to 
buy food and fuel, while the withdrawal of great numbers of able- 
bodied men from our State into our armies, leaves thousands of help- 
less persons without support. I especially invoke the public to make 
contributions for the comfort and assistance of the families of those 
who are in the service of the armies and navies of our country. 

Horatio Seymoub. 
D. Willers, Jr., Private Secretary. , 

Governor Seymour and the Enrolment of 1864. 


I have this day received a request from Provost-Marshal-General 
Fry, dated the 15th instant, " that I will take such steps as Will induce 
State, municipal, and other local authorities, as well as prominent and 
influential citizens, to co-operate with the officers of his bureau in 
securing an accurate enumeration of the persons liable to military 
duty in the several districts of this State." 

The object of this request is to get a correct quota for future 
drafts, to save towns and cities from sending more than their fair 
share of troops, and see that all are enrolled who are liable under the 
law for drafting soldiers into the service of the United States. 

I therefore urge upon all citizens immediate attention to this sub- 
ject. When the call is made it will be too late to correct errors. 

Heretofore, when I objected to the excessive quotas of the districts, 
I was told that there was a" lack of vigilance on the part of our people 
in making timely corrections of lists. 

If the names of those not liable to duty are enrolled, the quotas 
which districts will be compelled to furnish, will be unduly increased, 
although the persons thus improperly put upon the lists may be saved 
from the draft. ' On the other hand, if the names of those who are 
liable to duty are omitted, it will make greater charges against those 
whose names are put into the lottery of the conscription. If citizens 
or officials will not attend to their duty in this matter, they must not 
complain of the injustice of the enrolment. It is the duty of enrolling 
boards to show their lists to all who may apply, and it is the right of 
every person to have errors corrected, whether they affect him indi- 
vidually or not. If any hindrances are put in the way of this, com- 
plaint should at once be made to me. 


I exhort our public journals, by constant notices, to call the atten- 
tion of our citizens to this subject. It deeply concerns the welfare of 
all classes. By prompt and vigilant attention, we will be saved 
from unequal quotas, and from a heavy amount of taxation upon the 
several towns and cities. A large share of our local indebtedness is 
due to the want of vigilance in correcting the enrolments. 

In other States the town and city authorities have looked closely 
into the lists. 

The indifference of our people upon this subject has been one of the 
causes which has thrown upon New York an excessive share of the 
sacrifices and cost of the war. 

We cannot expect the authorities at Washington to feel more con- 
cern with regard to our quotas, than our people show for themselves. 
Neither can this department successfully contend against errors affect- 
ing the people of the State, while our citizens are careless about their 
own rights and interests. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and affixed the 
privy seal of the State, at the City of Albany, this twenty-first 
day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-four. 

Horatio Seymoub. 

By the Governor : — D. Willebs, Jb., Private Secretary. 


State of New Yobk, Executive Depabtment, ) 
Albany, December 23, 1864. f 

Sir : — The President of the United States having made a call for 
three hundred thousand men to fill up the armies in the field, I deem 
it my duty to urge you, at once, to correct the enrolment in your 
town. No time should be lost; nor should any proper cost be spared 
to do this. The losses to the different congressional districts of our 
State from wrong enrolments have been much greater than is gene- 
rally known. This is shown by the annexed table — setting forth the 
excess of numbers called from the districts of New York, over the 
average number required from the New England States, as nearly as 
can be ascertained. It is based upon the call of July 18, 1864, for 
five hundred thousand men. I assume that a bounty of seven hundred 
dollars was paid for each volunteer. This is more than was paid in 
some counties and less than was given in others. The^eight districts 
in the cities of New York and Brooklyn are left out. In these the 
loss would be still greater. You will see that the interests of your town 
demand that active men should at once be set at work to have the 
enrolments corrected. Large amounts would be saved if these men 
are liberally paid in every case where a wrong is corrected. The 
excess' of the quota of these districts of this State over those of New 
England is not due to any difference in the character of population, 
but mainly to the activity of town officials in the latter States, in 



cutting down the enrolments to the number of persons liable to do 
duty. Attention to the matter now will save trouble and expense 
hereafter. Heretofore there were difficulties in correcting the enroll- 
ments, which have been removed. 

Yours, &c, 

Horatio Seymour. 

Call of July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men- 

■Quota of the State 39,318 




Suffolk, Queens, and Richmond 

"Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam .... 

Dutchess and Columbia 

Ulster and Greene 

Albany and Schoharie ; . 

Rensselaer and Washington . [Schenectady- 
Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, 

Delaware, Otsego, and Chenango 

Jefferson, Lewis, and Herkimer 

Madison and Oswego 

Onondaga and Cortland 

Cayuga, Wayne, and Seneca 

Ontario, Livingston, and Yates 

Tioga, Tompkins, Broome, and Schuyler. . 

Chemung, Steuben, and Allegany 

Monroe and Orleans. 

Genesee, Niagara, and Wyoming 


Chautauqua and Cattaraugus 




° r s» 


to a 



m - u> 


























































men. . 



23 -C** h 



Average quotas of the districts above named. . . 
Average quotas of New England States named 

2,167 men 

Average excess 

Average loss per district at $700 per man 

Total loss in the districts named on the single call.. 



Governor Seymour at the Inauguration of Governor 
Penton, Albany, N. Y., January 2, 1865. 

Laborious Duties of the Office of Governor — Commends his Successor to 
Popular Support — Remarks to Governor Penton — History and Policy of 

the State. 

Fellow-Citizens : — The office of Governor of New York has 
always been one of labor and care. To act upon every law touching 
the varied interests of four millions of people ; to see that those laws 
are faithfully carried out ; to take care that the rights of the people 
are uphejd; to listen each year to a thousand pleas for pardon, which 
are urged at all times and in all places where a hearing can be gained 


—for the sacred rights of misery and of suffering cannot be restrained 
by rules or methods — has ever made the position one of anxiety and 
of toil. The present war has added to these duties until the position 
of Chief Magistrate of this State calls forth every energy of body and 
mind. "Within the past four years, New York has sent nearly four 
hundred and forty thousand men to the armies and navies of the 
country. More than thirty thousand military commissions have been 
given out by the executive department during the same period. I 
therefore ask for my successor a liberal support in the position which he 
is to hold for the next two years. This is due as a matter of justice, 
of wise economy, and of generous patriotism^ Whatever may be the 
course of the war, his labors will grow greater. In their nature they 
are accumulative. Each year adds to the use and the value of the 
records of the office, as they prove claims for pensions and bounties, 
show the quotas due from different town and counties under the call 
for men, and will in the end be the proofs upon which the General 
Government must account for vast sums of money. I should be un- 
true to the position which I have held, and unjust to him who now 
takes that place, if I did not urge upon our people and our Legislature 
the duty of strengthening his hand by liberal appropriations, which 
will not only give to him a sufficient number of assistants, but which 
will also enable him to call to his support, by liberal compensation, 
men of ability and experience in public affairs. I know this policy is 
demanded by enlightened economy and justice. 
[Governor Seymour then addressed Governor Fenton] : — 
To you, sir, who now enter upon the duties of Chief Magistrate of 
this great State, I tender my sincere wishes for your successful ad- 
ministration. You and I look upon public affairs from different 
stand-points, and we have held conflicting views and have reached 
different conclusions with regard to the methods by which our country 
can best be saved from the perils which overhang it. But none the 
less, sir, have you my best wishes for your personal welfare and sue- ' 
cess in all the affairs of public and private life. In these days, when 
we are called upon to confront problems so great, so vital, and so far- 
reaching in their effects, he who does not speak out his earnest con- 
victions lacks manhood*; and he who cannot treat with respect and 
forbearance the convictions of others lacks sense and patriotism. It is a 
source of pleasure to me that during the sharp political conflicts of the 
day, and the distinct antagonisms of our positions, our relationships 
have been those of friendly courtesy. In the performance of your 
great and varied duties you will encounter much that is painful, and 
many misapprehensions with regard to your conduct and your motives ; 
but I do not doubt, sir, that at . the end of your official term, although 
(as those who have gone before you have done), you may fall into 
errors, that you will be animated by the consciousness of having 
served your State with zeal, fidelity, and integrity. The great duties 
and questions of the day will lift you above passing passions and pre- 
judices, and you will be governed by the important objects of holding 
the honor of New York, and saving the union of our States. The 
spot upon which we stand inspires us with patriotic pride ; for in this 
ancient city was held the first convention of delegates from the sev- 
eral colonies at which, by Franklin and others, was drawn up a plan 
for colonial union against foreign hostility and savage warfare. Act- 


ing upon the motto of the Hollanders who planted the first settle- 
ment upon the banks of the Hudson, that " unity makes might,'' 
these delegates took here the first step which ended in making these 
enfeebled and divided settlements a great confederate power. 

The- capital of New York is the birth-place of our Union, and 
to-day New York is the chief support of that Union whose vital 
principles were here first set forth, and beyond all other States up- 
holds by its armies and its treasures the power of its National Gov- 
ernment, which was inaugurated in its great emporium. There is no 
stain upon its history. From the time "when, at this point, and at. the 
mouth of the Hudson, colonies were planted by the Netherlander, who 
understood better than other people of that day the principles of civil 
and religious liberty, New York has ever been foremost in giving a 
generous welcome to all nationalities and creeds, in its bold enter- 
prise, its wise and comprehensive system of public education, its gen- 
erous charities for the relief of all forms of suffering, and its great 
works of internal improvements, which have built up, not only its 
own, but the National prosperity. By virtue of its wise and generous 
policy, it has outstripped all other States, and now stands first in 
the Union in wealth, in population, and in power. In your keeping 
are now placed its honor, its interests, and its rights. 

I shall not try to forecast the future. The events of the past four 
years have rebuked that pride of opinion which attempts to foretell 
results which rest with the wisdom of a Power higher than that of 
man. But the duty of striving earnestly and hopefully to serve our 
country remains with us. In the future, as in the past, we may be 
led to follow different pathways, but may Almighty God grant that, 
before the end of your term of office, we may rejoice in common 
over a Union restored, over a return of peace and fraternal relationship 
throughout our land, and a renewal of that happiness and prosperity 
which heretofore marked us among the nations of the earth. 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting in Buffalo, 
October 21, 1865. 

The Questions of the Day — Has the War been in vain — Indorsement and 
Advocacy of the President's Plan of Restoration — Republican admissions 
of the correctness of Democratic Policy — Negro Suffrage — The National 
Debt— Its Excess of official Statements — An Increase to be avoided only 
by restoring Southern States to their Rights — Appeal to laboring Men- 
Reasons why the Democrats nominated certain Republicans for State 

Fellow Citizens : — For four years the people in this oountry have 
been called upon to act upon greater questions than any that ever 
have been presented to any people in the history of the world. We 
have had to deal with great problems growing out of a war of unexam- 
pled magnitude. We have sent to the war more than three millions 
of men, and more than one-half a million of our fellow-citizens now 
slumber in the grave. We have had to deal with great financial 

BUFFALO, OCT. 21, 1865. 269 

questions, with questions of taxation concerning the laborer and affect 
ing the happiness of our people. We have had to cope with questions of 
constitutional law, with the great problem of the'liberty of the people. 
Never, as I said before, in the history of the world, have a people been 
called upon to deal with questions of such magnitude as those which 
have exercised our minds. The war, thank God, has ceased and 
peace once more prevails in our land. The questions which the war 
brought up have passed out of view, and necessarily have become a 
part of the history of the country. They are not lost. They are 
recorded for the judgment of the future. All its events — its military 
transactions, its government action, its action touching the right of 
the citizen^ the power of constitutional law — are all to be preserved for 
the judgment of coming times, when the passions of men are set at 

The questions of the pastare not the questions of the day ; but they 
may be the questions of the future, and we leave them for future ref- 
erence. It cannot be said that violations of the Constitution were 
suffered to pass by with the unanimous consent of the American 
people. But it will be said that, at this time, there were men, and 
that there was a great party, that stood up for the rights of the people 
and for constitutional la.w. Though the war has ceased, by the com- 
mon consent of all parties, the Union is not yet restored — that Union 
for whose salvation we have suffered so much is not a perfect whole — 
that Union for which such a vast National debt has been created is not 
restored in its fullness and completeness. The problem of war has 
passed away, but the question remains, How can we restore our coun- 
try to its full and healthy action ? How can we bring back the States 
that are still members of our confederacy ? All other controversies and 
discussions must be hushed. 

One year ago I had the honor to address an audience in this city, 
and I ventured to say that " when victory shall have crowned our 
efforts, then it will be seen that the policy of those who conducted the 
affairs of the Government was such that they could not restore this 
Union." We gained the victories which they told us would produce 
immediate peace and would restore the Union. But months have 
passed away since then, and the very men who made these promises, 
who said the restoration of the Union was a military problem alone, 
to-day meet in council, more particularly in Boston, and say that the 
Union is not restored ; that the war still exists in fact, though not in 
form, and they still call in exercise military power. Have we, then, 
in vain, sacrified so much ? I ventured, one year ago, to say, that if 
we had had wise statesmanship to conduct the affairs of the na- 
tion — if justice had been done to the gallant men who fought for our 
standard, we should have peace and permanent peace. I was once 
censured for saying that the Government had not followed up its suc- 
cesses and advantages, and yet what does Horace Greeley say to-day. 
I beg you to listen to one paragraph, because it- fully justifies the 
position we hold to-day, when we implore you to follow us in the 
course marked out by the President of the United States for the pur- 
pose of restoring our Union in fact, and to make our land a brother- 
hood of States, living together in amity, and thus advance the National 
glory and prosperity. Mr. Greeley says, in speaking of the visit 
which Alexander H. Stephens attempted to make to Washington in 


the summer of 1863, that had this visit been permitted, "I believe 
it would have saved a quarter of a million of precious lives, and left our 
National debt a full billion less than it is now." 

Here we have the admission of Greeley himself that a quarter of a mil- 
lion of lives have been sacrificed — the father^ and brothers and sons of 
this land. Here we have the admission that all we said was true, and 
that two years ago peace might have been brought back to our coun- 
try, this vast debt prevented, and that to-day we might have been on 
the road to prosperity and happiness. But men stand up to-day and 
say that the Union cannot be restored unless the people of the South 
consent to an invasion of their constitutional rights. 

What is this question of negro suffrage which now agitates the 
public mind ? It is not merely a proposition whether we will or will 
not give to the African freedman the right to vote. It is the attempt 
on the part of the General Government to assert the power to deter- 
mine the right of suffrage in the different States. If this Government 
has the right to say to the people of the Southern States who shall 
vote, then it has the right to say to the people of the -Northern States 
who shall or who shall not vote* You are called upon, not only to 
pass upon the question of the elective franchise in the States of the 
South, but in those of the North. Now, bear this proposition in 
mind, that the Government is not only to shape the elective franchise 
of the people of the South, but also to shape our laws on this sub- 
ject. Bear in mind, too, that this proposition comes from the very 
sarnie men who said, a little while ago, that the Irishman and the Ger- 
man should not vote. 

This is not only a great and overshadowing question that touches 
the restoration of the Union ; it involves consequences reaching fur- 
ther than all this. It touches the vital principles of our institutions. 
Tell me, when the Government determines for other States the ques- 
tion of the elective franchise, who shall protect our own rights ? Tell 
me how you will secure your own home and fireside rights when you 
strike down the right of suffrage ? Tell me bow you will protect 
your right of conscience ? Tell me when the Government can say to 
you how you shall exercise the franchise of the citizen, how can you 
protect your own rights ? I implore you to consider this question, not 
only as it affects distant States and the restoration of the Union, but 
as it affects all the dearest relationships of life. Why did we battle 
for our country ? Is it only for a name ? Oh no ! The end of our 
Government is something greater than this. It is to make the homes 
of the American people happy, to protect them in their fireside rights, 
to place over them the sacred shield of the Constitution, and to 
maintain the principles for which our fathers fought and suffered so 

In eighty years, from a feeble nationality we became a great peo- 
ple ; we were prosperous and happy. But we disregarded the lessons 
of the past, and deviated from the principles of the Constitution. 
For four years we were not the free people that we were in times 
past. You could not for four years go to your homes and feel that 
they were your castles, where your rights were inviolable. Now, 
once again, as a people, upon this very subject of the suffrage of the 
South, you find this great far-reaching question of the rights of the 
people meeting you, and upon this you must act. And let me tell 

BUFFALO, OCT. 21, 1865. 271 

you this, when you decide that the Government of this country has 
the power to go into another State and determine what its election 
laws shall be, you decide that it has' the right to determine the laws 
of franchise in your own State. 

But there are other reasons why you should be deeply interested 
in this matter, and I speak here of. our National debt. When I spoke 
before you, a year ago, I was denounced as one hostile to the Gov- 
ernment, because I said, the only way to preserve the Constitution 
was to carry out its spirit and purpose, and thus promote the welfare 
of the people of our common country. I then said that the debt was 
far beyond the official statement. They said it was only seventeen 
hundred millions ; but to-day they admit that it is three thousand 
millions, over and above the monstrous sum taken from the people 
by taxation. If we are not to allow the Southern States a place in 
this Union, and to make them co-workers with us in paying this debt 
and working out the National prosperity, your own judgment will 
tell you that this debt must continue to increase. If the military 
power is to be kept up over so vast an extent of country, if the South 
is to be held in subjection, it must be done at increased cost of men 
and money. 

If, then, you would avoid more debt and heavier taxation, you 
must restore to the people of the South as rapidly as possible all those 
privileges which give life, vitality and prosperity to a country. Bring 
your own experience to your aid and you will see that, whether war 
is carried on by active exercise in the field, or an army maintained' in 
time of peace in our midst, the result will be the same — the debt must 
increase. If this policy is to be adopted, can the laboring man main- 
tain himself and family ? When we go back to the time when the 
Government tax was lightj we were enabled to reduce the hours of 
labor and increase the wages of the laborer. But let me ask the 
laboring man who will increase the wages of labor, if he is to uphold 
a policy that will wring from him the fruits of his toil by heavy tax- 
ation ? When you go to your workshop or toil in the field, and work 
six hours a day, you have earned enough to support yourself and 
family, and may wish to devote your time to intellectual pursuits by 
which you may promote the welfare of others. But when you have 
worked six hours, the Government steps in and says, " I want you to 
work two hours more to pay the National debt." You know it must 
be paid ; but you know, also, that taxation means toil, and that more 
debt means more hours of labor. You must work two hours more, 
and you thank God it is done; but the Government steps in again and 
says you must work still two hours more to pay the taxes of another 
class of men who are exempt from the burdens which bear so heavily 
on you. 

Now this is a question which every laboring man can solve for him- 
self. Just find out how many hours you have to toil to buy your 
clothes and food, and compare the prices you have to pay with those 
on the other side of the river, and the difference is exactly the burden 
of taxation. Although you must work additional hours to pay the 
debt, you will do it cheerfully, for we are not the repudiating party. 
We must maintain the public faith — we must keep the compact ; but, 
in the name of God, let us not increase the debt and the hours of toil. 
If we have made a bad bargain, we must abide by it ; but \te claim 


the right to say to the Government that labor and toil shall not alone 
bear the burden of the debt, while capital pays no tax. "We say to 
the Government, make no more such bargains, and in the future wipe 
out this injustice of unequal taxation. If you look upon the questions 
involved in the issue now before you, you will need no urging to main- 
tain the policy of Andrew Johnson. We ask you to adopt the policy 
■which will make others cheerful co-workers with us, and not to sanc- 
tion a policy which crushes the fruits of labor and retards the restora- 
tion of the Union. 

This is not merely a question of how we shall treat States that wish 
to return to the Union. It is a question that concerns the North 
more than the South — it concerns the laboring interests of the North. 
The great burden of paying the debt must fall upon the laborer in- 
stead of the capitalist. Beware, then, how you sustain a policy which 
barters away your own rights. Beware, my friends from foreign 
lands, how you sustain a party that threatens to violate the Constitu- 
tion against the men of the South. Take care, as you value your own 
prosperity, that you do not, unwittingly, increase the debt you must 
pay — a debt already so large that you see officers, for the first time 
in the history of this country, placed along the whole frontier, at your 
expense, to prevent your buying the necessaries of life as cheaply as 
possible. This policy is the result of the debt which you are taxed in 
this way to pay. 

Let us, for the time being, forget these questions, and address our- 
selves to the one great overwhelming question of the restoration of 
the Union. It was to aid the President in this great object that the 
convention in Albany adopted its platform. The policy of that plat- 
form was a wise one, and I stand here to indorse it, and give it my 
hearty approval. We say again to our Republican fellow-citizens, 
go with us, and save the country from the perils that lie in our path- 
way. Do not hesitate to adopt the wisest course and help the Presi- 
dent save the Union at once. It was with a view to carry out this 
idea that we not only made the declarations contained in the Albany 
resolutions, but placed in nomination certain men. Why did we 
nominate General Slocum? New York had sent five hundred thou- 
sand men to the field — more than her just proportion. In the city 
of New York and in your own city, men were denounced as untrue 
to the country, because they protested against excessive enrolment, 
and some people were made to believe that I pursued a factious 
course because I endeavored to have justice done to the State. We 
were then told that the population of New York was teeming with 
thousands of arms-bearing men who had come since the last census. 
But the recent census discloses the remarkable fact [?] that this city 
of New York has no increase of able-bodied men, but an excess of 
women. This by way of digression. 

When we reflected upon what New York had done in the war, we 
felt a just pride in the services of our soldiers, and wished to express 
due regard for their patriotic deeds. We followed the public opinion, 
not of Democrats alone, and having the first choice, we took the best 
general, and that was General Slocum. We took him because he had 
earned and maintained an eminent military position, not by the voice 
of political influence, not because he had been written into greatness 
by the press. It was universally conceded that New York had fur- 

BUFFALO, OCT. 21, 1865. 273 

nished no more meritorious officer. Republican as he had been, and 
trained to the use of military power, he was Democrat enough to see 
that the military power should be subordinate to the civil power, and 
therefore we nominated him, and are proud of his character. 

We also placed Lucius Robinson on the ticket for comptroller. 
We knew him, by common consent, to be an honest man. In the 
next place, he has been conspicuous for the bold and firm stand he has 
taken in favor of economy. But there is still another reason why we 
selected Robinson. The State of New York was paying specie to the 
foreign creditors of the Government. It was proposed to pay the 
obligations of the State in depreciated currency, and this was sup- 
ported by every Republican in the Legislature, and resisted by every 
Democrat. Mr. Robinson, then, as now, comptroller, insisted on 
maintaining the honor of the State, and that it should not be dis- 
graced by even partial repudiation. He did not separate himself from 
the Republican party to take a Democratic nomination. He did so 
two years ago when he found that his own . party was dishonoring 
the State. He was true to his duty against the demands of those 
who placed him in power, and proved himself a man to be trusted in 
the future. We nominated him as an honest man, a capable officer, 
and a strong opponent of repudiation. We nominated him, not merely 
to show our Republican friends that all party distinctions had passed 
away, but to show that we were actuated by a just regard for the 
honor of our State, the interests of its laborers, and the good faith 
which should be preserved with public creditors. His defeat will be 
a declaration in favor of repudiation. 

There was one man in the State of New York — when no one knew 
when arbitrary power might tear him from his home — when a minis- 
ter of the Gospel, who preached that it was better to be loving and 
gentle with our fellow-men, was dragged to a prison ia your own city 
— stood up and showed himself an honest judge and a brave man, and 
that man was Martin Grover. The English historian points with just 
pride to one judge who could tell a king that there were some things 
which it was not becoming for a king to demand or a people to 

frant. So when the rights of the American people were threatened, 
udge Grover stood up like a true man for the vindication of law 
and the preservation of the rights of the people. May God bless him 
for that, and the American people ever remember him with gratitude. 
And this is why the Democracy nominated Martin Grover for the 
office of judge of the Court of Appeals. 

There is another man in nomination who represents a great prin- 
ciple. I allude to General Patrick. We took him, not alone out of 
regard to his military career, but for the further reason that when 
arbitrary power endeavored to defraud the soldiers of the right of 
suffrage, there was one general who did his duty in their behalf, and 
that man was General Patrick. 

I have mentioned the names of these men because they have 
not been particularly known as members of the Democratic party. 
In their nomination we not only meant to say to the world that we 
sought to act with our Republican friends in restoring the Union, 
but to show them that the individual merits of these men were appre- 
ciated. No ticket of greater merit than the one you are about to 
support was ever placed in the field, and the issues are those whieh 



concern you most deeply. I do not deal in denunciation of the 
Republican party; but as a party they almost always come out 
wrong in public affairs, because they never start right. They are as 
intelligent as ourselves in all respects ; but they labor under the mis- 
taken idea that the great object of the American Government is to 
build up a central power that is to deprive the people of their home 
rights. On. the other hand, we take our stand on the hearth-stone, 
and declare the great object of government to be to make the people 
happy, and to protect them in their constitutional rights and priv- 
ileges. We write upon our banner home rights and equal taxation. 
Go on in God's name, and fight this great battle for the good of your 
homes, for the honor of your country, and the glory of the American 

Governor Seymour at a Democratic Meeting at Seneca 
Palls, N. Y., Nov. 1, 1865. 

Party Passions and Vindictiveness rebuked — Example of the " Chosen Peo- 
ple" — Why is the Union not restored? — Questions of the Canvass — The 
President's Policy — Perils in the Future — The Public Debt— Inflation of 
the Currency — How the laboring Man is affected — How it affects Manu- 
facturers — High Duties on Smuggling — General Slocum's Views — Major- 
Generals under pay in New York — How to get rid of useless Officials — 
The Constitutional Question — Centralization opposed to the American 
Theory of Government — The Democratic Convention — General Slocum 
and his Maligners — Opposition to Repudiation — Free Speech. 

Fellow-Citizens : — The end of the war that lately ravaged our 
country, scarcely made a greater change in military movements than 
it made in the civil questions upon which the people are called to act 
in succeeding elections. We, are not, therefore, inconsistent when 
we stand before you to discuss topics utterly unlike those which have 
occupied your minds during the last four years, and ask you to place 
men in office with some of whom we have not heretofore agreed in 
political action. I shall urge you to vote for some who were led by 
views of duty to a different line of political action from that which I 
felt impelled to follow. I do not mean to say that the issues of the 
past have lost their importance; they were so broad and far-reaching, 
in their consequences, that the human mind, agitated and tossed by 
the events of the past four years, could not always rightly understand 
or, fully apprehend them. We must now enter upon a consideration 
of the duties of to-day. When rolling years have gone by, we may 
be able to look back upqn the problems with which the American 
people have been dealing, and understand more correctly their signi- 
ficance. We shall find, 1 fear, that we have been too much animated 
by party passion and prejudice, and, it may be, that he who speaks to 
you now, in his anxiety in regard to what he deemed constitutional 
law, great principles of civil liberty, the rights of the American citi- 
zen, the sacredness of the American home, may have gone too far in 

SENECA FALLS, 1ST. T., NOV. 1, 1865. 275 

his censures upon those: who have seen fit to advocate another policy. 
It may be that our Republican friends who have looked unkindly 
upon those who held conflicting views with them, will in the lapse of 
time acknowledge that we advocated principles of value, not only at 
that time, but of value through the whole future history of the nation. 
It may be that when the examples of to-day are urged as precedents 
hereafter, they may point with gratitude to the fact that there -were 
men who deemed it their duty to complain of those things which they 
believed perilled the rights and liberties of the people. But whatever 
other conclusions we arrive at, I pray we may find that the mass of 
the American citizens of every party were animated by one purpose — 
to advance the interests and honor and glory of our country. 

Yesterday I listened to the recital of the views of one who had 
played a part as glorious as that of any soldier brought out by the 
events of the late war — a man who had led great armies into the field, 
a man who had experienced the severities of the war, and had a right 
to feel against the people of the South a degree of exasperation which 
those who have stayed at home might not cherish. He spoke calmly, 
dispassionately, and without irritation, of the condition of the country, 
and of those whom he had met but a few days since on the battle- 
field. When I listened to the remarks of General Slocum — a young 
man, yet in the very-prime of life, with his classical face, with his 
modest and unpretending demeanor — though he had been the com- 
mander of thousands of men, and had occupied a position of honor and 
responsibility accorded to but few, I felt that we, who had not 
engaged in the war, were rebuked for our vindictiveness and hate, 
and I resolved that, for myself, in discussing the issues which now 
concern us, I-would take care that my mind was not warped by pas- 
sion or prejudice. I am afraid it may be said of those who would 
continue a military governrrient over the South, that nobody wants 
to fight now but those who did not fight when they had a chance. 
The men who did go down to the battle-field are an' example to us of 
moderation, temperance, and true patriotism. 

We are told in sacred history that a people whose form of govern- 
ment was not unlike our own, made up of tribes, people chosen of the 
Lord, were plunged into civil war because one of those tribes placed 
itself in a position of rebellion against the general authority. The 
war was waged with great ferocity, and more men were destroyed in 
the battle-field in proportion to the numbers engaged, than in any 
conflict of which history gives us any account. At the outset those 
who held the rebellious position were successful ; and, at length, the 
rightful authority asserted its sway— those who had stood in resistance 
were scattered or crushed, and peace was restored to the land. But 
when all was done, the tribes of Israel went up into the temple of 
God and wept till night, and said : " Lord God of Israel, how is it 
that a tribe is wanting this day in our land ? " In the hour of victory, 
when fierce and bloody passions had been excited, this people met, 
not alone to rejoice over their triumphs, or to consider what punish- 
ment they might bring upon their rebellious brothers, but to weep 
with heavy hearts because their national unity and completeness had 
been impaired. 

We, to-day, after, a war of unparalleled magnitude, waged for four 
years ; after sending three millions of men to the field ; after piling up 


a debt of three thousand millions of dollars ; after the passion, pre- 
judice and vindictiveness stirred up in our midst by a civil conflict, 
meet here to inquire why our Union is not restored. Why is it that 
■we are told by a great party that the end for which our soldiers died, 
and for which we poured out our resources, must still be delayed ? This 
is the question that is to be settled in the election in which we are 
now engaged. 

One year ago our Republican friends told us that this was wholly 
a question of force. I then said — and I feel now that what I then said 
was true — that if there had been as much wise statesmanship in the 
cabinet as there had been bravery in the field, the Union would have 
already been restored. But the war is at an end ; signal victories 
have been won by generals who have made the history of our 
country glorious, and who have covered themselves with unfading 
laurels. Oar brothers have returned to their homes, save those, alas ! 
who can never return from the field where they have gallantly fought 
and died. how isit ? We are now told that it is something 
more than a problem of arms ; that the Union must not be restored 
until certain conditions are complied with which were not demanded 
or brought to public consideration at an earlier stage of the contest. 
In 1864 I ventured a prediction, in speeches that were published at 
the time, that when victory should crown our arms it would be seen 
that the policy of those who assumed ppwer in the Administration 
was such that they could not bring back the Union. The Union is 
not truly restored until every State is governed by its own population, 
controlled by its own laws, and until its people,, returning to their own 
proper pursuits, are toiling with us to lift the burden of debt which 
now oppresses us, and to advance the prosperity of the common 
country. Our soldiers did not risk their lives on the battle-field to 
hold a section of the country in military enslavement, but rather to 
bring back the Union of our fathers, "the union, of hearts and the 
union of hands," the common love of the flag of our land, and the 
common pride in the honor of the American name. 

A convention which met a short time since in the city of Boston, 
and which spoke more thoroughly than any recent gathering of the 
kind the sentiments of one of the great political organizations of our 
land, went so far as to insist that we should continue to regard the 
people of the Southern States as still in a condition of rebellion 
against the Government, although they had ceased to wage war by 
armed force. I do not go so far as this^ but I am compelled to say 
that the Union is not yet restored. In former years, when we went 
up to the capitol to hear the roll of the States called, it was one of 
those events which inspired in our minds the deepest love and admi- 
ration of our country ; for in no other land could be heard so magni- 
ficent a call as that which rang out the names of States from Maine to 
Georgia, from Maryland to California, from the St. Lawrence to the 
Gulf of Mexico, arid from ocean to ocean. To-day there is no one 
there to speak for Virginia — a State once famous for its statesmen, 
and that had so much to do with forming our institutions, and work- 
ing out the liberties of the American people. There is no one there 
to speak from the home of Sumter and Marion, names whose 
mernory is cherished in all our fireside traditions. There is no one 
there to speak from Tennessee, where the remains of Jackson moulder 
in the dust. 

SENECA FALLS, N. T., NOV. 1, 1865. 277 

We have before us this work of restoration. We have great prob- 
lems of statesmanship, of finance, of labor, of public order to settle, 
which require our most earnest consideration. We have before us 
the questi